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NIC presents at Polymers for Oil and Gas Virtual Summit 2020

Mon, 07 December, 2020

Rachel Lunn, Project Leader, Numerical Modelling and Optimisation, TWI and Abderrazak Traidia, NIC Technical Support Officer at Saudi Aramco Technologies Company (SATC) were delighted to deliver a joint presentation at this year’s Polymers for Oil and Gas Summit held virtually on 1-3 December 2020.

Turning the spotlight on polymer materials in onshore and offshore oil and gas engineering, this annual global summit covers the latest technical developments and market trends.  Topics on the year’s Agenda included the industry’s need to control costs in terms of infrastructure and equipment investment, installation and maintenance as well as ways to minimise risk during the development, qualification and application of new non-metallic pipes.

The presentation ‘Overview of Electro-Static Discharge (ESD) Risk Assessment in Polymer Composite Pipes used in Gas Applications’ outlined the results from the first phase of a project currently being undertaken by their two organisations within the framework of the NIC.

The project seeks to address the risk of ESD in composite pipes that transport natural gas. Build-up of electric charge through friction could lead to explosion, with associated damage to assets and injury to personnel.  Electrostatic charge builds up in non-metallics due to the non-conductive nature of polymers, and if the electric charge across the composite pipe wall exceeds the dielectric strength of the polymer matrix, dielectric breakdown can occur.

The presentation included an overview of existing solutions, an in-depth hierarchical assessment approach to the factors leading up to ESD and methods for modelling ESD in non-metallic pipes.  The speakers concluded that assessing and controlling the risk of ESD is important to expanding the use of non-metallic pipes in the oil and gas industry.

Image (top) shows the electric potential evolved due to the motion of gas through a pipe.