Benefits of HDPE Pipe in Oil & Gas and Mining Operations

By Chris Reiter

With ease of transport and simple installation methods, lightweight and corrosion resistance HDPE pipe is becoming the product of choice for many energy applications across the country.

One look at any oil or gas well or mining site will show an abundance of pipes, both rigid and flexible. While the traditional ‘big iron’ sections of pipe are still in use and in many cases, necessary, flexible high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) is becoming an alternative for many applications. 

Pipes for Oil and Gas Application

A recent posting by ThermoFisher Scientific lists the many reasons for considering HDPE pipe for oil and gas applications. “Oil and gas companies and mining companies seeking cost cutting measures may be considering HDPE pipe as money-saving alternative to steel pipe.” Some of the benefits include:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Light weight
  • Rustproof
  • Can withstand harsh chemical environments
  • Abrasion resistant; well suited for solids transmission in the mining environment
  • Semi-rigid characteristics can withstand high external loads
  • Flexible nature expands with pressure for increased life
  • Flexibility can help withstand seismic events
  • Leak-free joints and reduced maintenance costs
  • Easy installation
  • Long service life

Use of HDPE at the oil and gas wellsite is also increasing.

According to one oil-field veteran, “Flexible, HDPE has many applications at the wellsite. With the increase in wellsite automation, you may see a decrease in big equipment spreads, however, the pipe is still necessary for much of the operation.”

Applications on an oil or gas well include: 
  • Low-pressure rig-up applications
  • Flowback during well testing
  • Produced water resulting from frac operations
  • Water treatment operations
  • Transmission of oil and gas from the wellhead to storage tanks or sales line
  • Transmission or ‘cross-country’ pipelines

Pipes in Mining Applications

In mining operations, HDPE pipe is especially well suited. According to the Plastic Pipe Institute, polyethelyne pipe’s unique characteristics have made it the product of choice for numerous applications in the mining industry.  The abrasion resistance of polyethylene means it is well suited for solids transmission. The large amounts of water necessary in mining operations all must be transported to different points in the mining site, which can be miles across. The easy installation, flexibility and customization of HDPE allow the water lines to be deployed where necessary. The fusion-joint properties of HDPE mean that the joint is stronger than the pipe itself. And the material characteristics properties (high ductility and ability to resist deflections from ground movement) provide flexibility not found in rigid iron or steel pipe, meaning it can withstand soil subsidence and shifting over time or major seismic events such as earthquakes.

About United Poly Systems

United Poly Systems produces quality HDPE pipe in diameters from ¾-in. to 26-in. IPS and 4-in. to 24-in. DIPS for use in many industries including telecommunications, power utility, water, electrical and oil and gas. The market for HDPE pipe continues to expand as initiatives to improve, repair and expand the country’s infrastructure are implemented.

Our off-the-shelf HDPE conduit/pipe is available in a variety of sizes, colors, dimensions and lengths, with or without stripes. We also offer fully customizable HDPE conduit options. In addition, piping can be customized with a ribbed interior (to maximize the distance cable may be pulled or jetted), pull tape, or a lubricated interior (for easier installation). 

Success at UPS can be attributed to our vast experience, extensive client relationships, state-of-the-art manufacturing and quality processes.  Our agile business model that allows UPS to quickly meet customers’ needs without the overhead expenses that are incurred by many of the larger producers in the industry.

Conveniently located in Springfield, Missouri and Albuquerque, New Mexico, United Poly Systems can provide quick delivery to a majority of the U.S. market. 

Tags: Conduit, Oil & Gas