Lambda’s LPB Eliminates Sour Well Sulfide Cracking

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Preventing Oil and Gas Leaks with Designed Residual Compression

Welded steel with stress corrosion cracking

Stress Corrosion Cracking in Steel: Untreated vs LPB

As more deep wells and offshore resources are developed, this cost-effective method of mitigating hydrogen sulfide related cracking will be an invaluable tool to reduce operational costs and the potential for environmental damage.

Lambda Technologies has developed a surface treatment for oil field tubulars that can prevent oil and gas spills caused by hydrogen sulfide cracking. Low plasticity burnishing (LPB®) applies a deep, beneficial surface layer of compressive residual stress to mitigate hydrogen sulfide cracking. By putting the exposed surface in high residual compression far below the tensile threshold for cracking, fracture of casing sections and couplings from fatigue, stress corrosion or sulfide stress cracking is eliminated.

The US alone produces 8.5 million barrels of oil and natural gas per day, relying on tubular steel pipe and casings for drilling and recovery efforts. Hydrogen sulfide is commonly encountered downhole, creating a “sour” environment. Steel tubulars under high tensile stress exposed to the sour environment are subject to failure from stress corrosion cracking, sulfide stress cracking and corrosion fatigue. As more deep wells and offshore resources are developed, this cost-effective method of mitigating hydrogen sulfide related cracking will be an invaluable tool to reduce operational costs and the potential for environmental damage. LPB completely suppressed sulfide cracking in P110 steel tested to NACE standards, allowing lower cost and higher strength tubulars to be used in sour wells.

Invented in 1996 and only recently breaking into the oil and gas industry with US Steel, Lambda Technologies’ LPB surface enhancement process provides a deep layer of compressive residual stress to mitigate fatigue, fretting, stress corrosion cracking (SCC), pitting and foreign object damage (FOD) in the critical areas of metallic components. LPB treated parts achieve improved life and performance without alteration of material or design. “LPB provides a tool that can be used in design or on existing components. I’m thrilled to be having a positive impact on the oil and gas industry and the environment as a whole. It’s rare to come across a solution that helps both,” says Dr. N. Jayaraman, Director of Materials Research for Lambda.

Lambda Technologies is an innovative company incorporating a premier materials research laboratory with a world-class engineering and production enterprise dedicated to the development and optimization of surface treatments to improve component performance. For additional information on Lambda Technologies or the LPB process, contact Julie Prevéy at (513) 561-0883 or visit http://www.lambdatechs.com.

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