Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilisers. With headquarters in Vienna in Austria, the company currently employs around 6,500 people and operates in over 120 countries. Thomas Stark, application marketing manager of oil and gas, tells us about the technological trends shaping the industry.
The oil and gas industry is often said to be extremely conservative when it comes to introducing new technology. What is sometimes overlooked, however, is the responsibility the industry has towards society, as any failure or mistake can have a big impact on the environment. The risk of introducing unproven technology is simply too high to take. What the industry needs is for committed, reliable and responsible companies to continue to develop reliable solutions in the market area.
In an answer to this call, Borealis has been offering products to the oil and gas industry for decades. Products based on Borealis's polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) materials have been used in numerous applications in projects throughout the world and the company continues to develop new solutions.
Three-layer polyolefin-based anti-corrosion coatings for steel-based oil and gas pipelines have been a standard practice in the industry for years. Borealis was one of the leaders in introducing grafted PE and PP-based adhesives, as well as high-quality bimodal PE and PP topcoat materials.
Borealis's PP-based materials were first used in a project in Norway in 1993. Borealis was also the first company to successfully launch a high-density PE-based material - Borcoat HE3450 - which it did in 1997.
Since then, Borealis's Borcoat materials have become well known in the pipeline industry across all applications for balanced mechanical properties that protect the pipe during handling, transportation and installation.
Borcoat materials have a long-term record of effective performance and properties, such as excellent peel strength, scratch resistance and resistance towards environmental conditions, and for meeting and exceeding the requirements of internationally acknowledged standards.
Recently, at the AMI Pipe Coating conference in Vienna, Austria, Borealis introduced a PP adhesive and a topcoat for demanding projects in cold climates. Together with its partner Uponor, Borealis has developed field-joint technology, which is based on a specially modified molten Borcoat polymer and the rotating Wehocoat machine, designed by Uponor Infra.
In addition to the protection of steel pipes against corrosion, polyolefin-based materials, especially PP, are also used to thermally insulate pipelines.
Such coatings consist of several layers, of which at least one reduces the thermal conductivity compared with solid layers. This insulation layer consists of either a foamed material or a layer filled with hollow glass spheres. Borealis materials have been used for many years due to their long-term performance against mechanical loading and environmental elements.
For one of the first thermal insulation projects, the Tordis project in Norway, Borealis's PP products proved to be the right choice as the material and coating properties were still within the designed range after 20 years of service when the pipeline was decommissioned.
Borealis's PE and PP materials are also being used in new developments such as flexible, multi-layer pipes, of which either few or no layers are metallic-based.
Borealis continues its commitment to deliver quality solutions to the oil and gas industry with its wide range of PE, PP and cross-linkable PE products.