Polymer tests show absence of chemical degradation

Paul Boughton

In response to standardisation requirements of the oil and gas industry, Victrex Polymer Solutions contracted with the Materials Engineering Research Laboratory Limited (MERL)*, requesting an evaluation of the extent to which VICTREX PEEK complies with the NORSOK M-710 Standard** for sour (H2S) aging at 10 MPa (1,450 psi) and test temperatures of 175°C (347°F), 195°C (383°F) and 210°C (410°F), for up to five weeks.

Results showed no measurable chemical deterioration for the VICTREX PEEK 450G within the test period.

The absence of chemical degradation demonstrates H2S resistance of VICTREX PEEK 450G, which actually exceeded the standard requirements of NORSOK qualification. These results prohibit any extrapolation or interpolation of results for predictive modelling. Recognising the data generated may not go far enough to offer the level of confidence in performance that is required, Victrex has undertaken further testing to understand and model how VICTREX PEEK polymers will perform in even the most demanding oil and gas environments.

To date, VICTREX PEEK polymer has been tested in three-phase sour environments where the gas phase is 100% H2S, corresponding to more than 1% at 207 MPa (30,000 psi) and at a temperature of 220°C (428°F). Even under such unforgiving conditions, at some 15 times the concentrations now required to be tested according to the new draft of NORSOK M-710 revision 3, the mechanical properties of VICTREX PEEK 450G were fully retained in the aqueous and hydrocarbon phases.

This is the beginning of a series of additional fluid analysis testing that will be undertaken by Victrex plc, in the coming months, in response to direct requests from both industrial materials suppliers and end users, to fully ensure that VICTREX PEEK 450G will operate safely and efficiently over a long service lifetime.

Jim Goodson a senior technical advisor at Baker Hughes Completions and Productions, a top-tier oilfield service company with more than 58,000 employees in 80 countries, stated: “Victrex provides the industry an excellent service with quality data, both through the standardised testing practices and their own extended product analysis efforts. When material manufacturers or intermediate processors utilise those same standards and techniques to produce data on their own materials, we have more confidence that the data produced is consistent and accurate, saving us time and effort in evaluation of those materials.”

To further demonstrate the outstanding performance of VICTREX PEEK polymers  and benefit customers in the energy sector, Victrex Technical Manager Geoff Small is leading a team to test and predictively model VICTREX PEEK polymers in even more aggressive environments.

For more information, visit  www.victrexenergy.com

* MERL, Materials Engineering Research Laboratory Limited, was acquired by Element Materials Technology and is now named “Element Hitchin”
** The NORSOK standards are developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry to ensure adequate safety, value adding and cost effectiveness for petroleum industry developments and operations.

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