Use of Composite Materials in the Oil & Gas Industry
Composite materials offer many potential advantages for oil and gas developments based on their low density, corrosion resistance, and excellent fatigue performance. In addition, the use of composites allows for greater design flexibility for tailoring the properties to meet specific design requirements, thus promoting better system oriented and cost-effective solutions. On a one-to-one replacement basis, composite components are often more expensive than their steel counterpart. However, on a performance equated basis, the economic incentive to use composite components can often be demonstrated based on their capability to reduce system and life cycle costs. The presentation will review current applications of composites and present information on composite materials that are candidates for use in the oil and gas industry. This information includes discussion of material properties, fabrication methods, design philosophy, safety requirements and regulation issues. The presentation will also discusses the potential application of composites in deep water oil and gas developments. The paper also presents a discussion of financial incentives to develop composite applications, identifies the main challenges facing the introduction of composites into service and discusses steps currently being taken to address these issues.