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Solvay, Baker Hughes to expand use of composite materials in oil and gas pipes

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Advanced materials and specialty chemicals company Solvay has partnered with Baker Hughes to advance the use of thermoplastic composite materials in offshore flexible pipes and risers for the oil and gas industry.

Thermoplastic composites enable the adoption of flexible risers for ultra-deep waters, while requiring lower total expenditure than conventional technologies.

“It’s a privilege to work with one of the world’s leading energy technology companies,” commented Augusto DiDonfrancesco, member of Solvay’s executive committee. “Our collaboration with Baker Hughes is a landmark in our strategy to expand the use of thermoplastic composites into new markets, leveraging its lightweight and non-corrodible properties versus metal.”

Andrea Fibbi, technology executive, oilfield equipment at Baker Hughes, added: “We believe this partnership with Solvay will accelerate the introduction of non-metallic materials in the energy industry at a time where we are increasing our focus on reduced cost and improved efficiencies.”

Thermoplastic composite pipes are flexible and weigh significantly less than conventional equipment, making the installation and connection of new equipment quicker and cheaper.

Maintenance is also simplified as composites do not corrode and offer superior fatigue resistance, even in ultra-deep waters. Flexible pipes associated with floating, production, storage and offloading vessels enable a production system that can be efficiently removed at decommissioning.