New Composite Flexible Pipe for Onshore Pipelines

A state-of-the-art facility in Houston will manufacture non-metallic products, including flexible pipes, for multiple sectors. Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes.

Energy technology company Baker Hughes (Houston, Texas, USA) recently announced the launch of its next-generation Onshore Composite Flexible Pipe, which is designed to address corrosion and cost of ownership challenges associated with conventional steel pipes used in the energy, oil and gas, and industrial sectors.

According to the developer, the flexible and lightweight reinforced thermoplastic pipe (RTP) offers an economic and environmentally superior alternative to resource-intensive onshore steel pipes—particularly as it pertains to optimizing the core structure of flowline and oil and gas pipeline networks.

A key feature of the pipe is its spoolable design, which makes it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to transport and install versus steel pipe. Overall, the system reduces installation costs by more than 20 percent. Installation also requires fewer onsite support facilities and heavy vehicles, which can minimize risk while taking up less width on a pipeline right-of-way. Other benefits include reduced environmental impacts on surrounding lands, according to the company.

“This pipe is the result of our strategic investments for growth in innovative non-metallic materials,” says Hatem Haidar, global vice president of the onshore flexible pipe systems business at Baker Hughes. “We are committed to supporting safer, more efficient, and cost-effective technical solutions to serve the energy sectors, and non-metallics play a key role. We see flexible pipe as a vital component of today and tomorrow’s energy and industrial sectors—enabling the transport of multiple energy sources, including hydrogen and natural gas.”

According to the company, the RTP system offers an economic solution for the transport of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen, as well as the conversion of existing infrastructure to carry gases. In addition, the pipe’s noncorrosive materials can withstand contaminants without requiring chemical inhibitors, corrosion monitoring and inspection, or disruptive repair work. As a result, it can significantly reduce operational expenditures.

The technology draws on the company’s years of experience in developing advanced composite solutions for demanding offshore environments, which are now applicable for onshore and industrial customers, as well.

The composite pipe will be manufactured at Baker Hughes’ state-of-the-art facility in Houston. With a 400,000-square-foot (37,161.2 m2) footprint, the facility will boost manufacturing capacity by approximately three-to-four times, as compared to the company’s current capacity for flexible pipe solutions.

The pipe will be available up to 8 inches (20.3 cm) in diameter, with a variety of liners including nylon, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Fluid pressures can be delivered of up to 2,250 psi (15.5 MPa).

Source: Baker Hughes,