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Specifying the Smoothest Internal Lining Available for Protection Of Oilfield Tubulars

DUOLINE 20 a durable Glass-Reinforced Epoxy (GRE)
DUOLINE 20 a durable Glass-Reinforced Epoxy (GRE)

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9019 North County Road West
Odessa, TX
US, 79764


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Reducing cost has become an imperative for oil and gas companies. Completion engineers can reduce cost through the prevention of corrosion. Prevention of tubular corrosion in harsh, corrosive environments, such as those with H2S, CO2, dissolved oxygen, brinish disposal water, highly acidic soil conditions and many others, can be easily accomplished through the specification of a fiberglass-reinforced liner.

However, specifiers have begun to realize---not all fiberglass liners are the same. Some have a smoother interior surface compared to others, which can make a big difference in the effectiveness of production over time, having a great impact on cost. It is essential to investigate the internal surface of the liner, as a smoother internal surface has proven to have a critical impact on overall costs and performance in three key areas:

  • Daily operational cost savings on energy (pump operation) due to a lower and constant pressure head loss
  • Increases production efficiency
  • Reduces work-over operations

How does a rough surface in the internal diameter of the lining increase cost?

First, a rough surface on the internal lining increases friction and makes the pumps work harder to move fluid through the tubulars. Second, since fluid will move slower against a rough surface, a rough interior surface decreases total production over time. More so, particles eventually build up on the walls of a rough interior, increasing the friction even more and slowing the movement of fluid year after year.

Why is smoothness of the liner critical?

Most importantly, as a general rule to remember, friction or roughness on any inner surface of the tubular lining raises cost. When the interior surface has a consistently smooth surface, there is less pressure on the pumps, thus reducing wear and tear and eliminating the cost of early pump replacement.

When a slick, smooth surface remains constant, there is no build up of sediment or crystallization of particles, and the fluid moves through tubulars at a faster speed. Increased speed means improved production, and a quicker return on the investment of the smooth interior liner.

Measuring Smoothness

Smoothness is often referred to as the C Factor—the measurement of the smoothness of a tubular liner. Typically, a higher C Factor indicates greater smoothness of the surface of the liner. In such equations, when the C factor is high (and thus the friction is low), carrying capacity and overall production are increased. Fiberglass liners typically have a C Factor of 150, compared to Cast Iron, which starts at 140 and drops to 90 after about twenty years, due to a rough surface.1

DUOLINE Manufacturing Facility

Advance Manufacturing Processes Guarantees Smoothness

Understanding the manufacturing process of internal fiberglass liners is critical for specifiers. To produce a smooth liner, a manufacturer should begin with a seamless glass-reinforced filament. This filament is made of fiberglass rovings, wound in a continuous helical pattern to provide the greatest tensile and hoop strength, which are then highly saturated during the winding process with a proprietary aromatic resin formulation, providing fusion between the fibers and ensuring a holiday-free liner. This full saturation of high-strength fibers provides the seamless chemical resistance that is necessary for linings to survive in the field.

Next, the filament must be properly cured. Encapsulated air pockets, which can be a potential point of increased friction, are often the result of a thermal cure cycle that cures the outer diameter first. This typical external heating process, used by some manufactures, often entraps air pockets in the liner’s wall. An improved manufacturing process differs because it applies internal heat to a hollow mandrel. This internal curing process ensures that air pockets will not occur on the liner walls, allowing smoothness and long-term successful performance in the field for decades.

Leading internal liner manufacturers also use automated monitoring technology, which allows the manufacturer to keep a close watch on detailed aspects of production operations. This technology can provide data on a daily basis on any part of the fabrication process that needs to be adjusted to guarantee the highest quality product.

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