Metal-Based Systems for Use in Extreme Environments
Extreme offshore hydrocarbon operations require strong, durable, and corrosion resistant materials. Unfortunately, materials currently used in offshore oil and natural gas operations, both tubulars for all operations and associated blow out preventer (BOP) components, have reached their limit of effectiveness in terms of operating environment. New materials must be designed to compensate for these shortcomings. The objective of this work is to evaluate the most commonly used alloys in these applications to characterize their limitations and appropriate uses. Additionally, novel surface treatments that may improve metallic component performance in extreme conditions will be evaluated.
This project will identify environmental and mechanical factors that affect metal performance in extreme offshore environments. Initial work has focused on wellbore related environments—however, future research may address materials performance on the seafloor and in coastal marine settings, deep offshore, and Arctic areas. It is important to understand which materials are suitable for near-term and immediate use, as well as long-term (decades) performance and legacy-related challenges.
Metallic components are used in risers, umbilicals, drill pipe, pipelines, blow out preventers, and numerous other components associated with offshore drilling in both the water column and subsurface systems. Ensuring the lasting performance and the appropriate use of these materials is a vital step in addressing the economic, environmental, and safety concerns related to efficient offshore production and risk prevention. The development of material information databases to catalogue and analyze baseline physical and mechanical behavior, as well as environment specific property performance, of basic materials is an important element of this project. Successful completion of this work will reduce the relative risks for critical components in offshore environments by using data analytics and other large data strategies to determine expected materials lifespan under different operating scenarios.