When it comes to giving up its gas, the Delaware Basin can be stubborn. As part of its efforts to maximize recovery and profitability in New Mexico, Midland-based Diamondback Energy needed a mile of pipeline for its Eye of the Well gas-lift project.
The injection lines specified for production needed to accommodate high pressure and temperature requirements—1500 psi and 180°F, respectively.
Polyflow, another Midland-based company, manufactures Thermoflex®, a spoolable, composite RTP product. With its unique, aramid-fiber reinforcement, Thermoflex delivers the highest strength-to-weight ratio in flexible pipe. It also features proprietary inner liners of either nylon or Polyphenylene Sulfide.
Thus constructed, Thermoflex can withstand the higher pressures and temperatures typical of upstream and midstream applications without derating, permeation, or reduction in capacity. Operationally speaking, it can accommodate pressures of up to 2,000 psi and temperatures of up to 180°F.
Unlike steel, it’s not susceptible to internal or external corrosion, resisting carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), bacteria, salt water, and paraffin buildup. The one thing it doesn’t offer resistance to is flow, which means operators can achieve higher flow rates with smaller pipeline diameters.
For Diamondback, Polyflow recommended Thermoflex pipeline with a nylon inner liner. Diamondback’s engineers appreciated that there was no pressure deration or permeation issues with the solution.
The installation and performance of Thermoflex has exceeded Diamondback’s expectations—so much so that the company has contracted Polyflow for all of its RTP needs. Currently, that amounts to 45,000-50,000 feet every month throughout the Permian and Delaware basins.
As many oil and gas companies grapple with increasingly challenging performance requirements—particularly in and around the Permian—Thermoflex has hit the sweet spot with lower initial and long-term costs and fewer long-term headaches.