Revolutionizing the Oil and Gas Industry: The Integral Role of Polyurea Protective Coatings

Polyurea Protective Coatings in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is an essential pillar of the global economy, constantly dealing with challenges of infrastructure protection, corrosion control, and safety enhancement. One game-changing solution that has revolutionized oil and gas industry is polyurea protective coatings. These innovative products possess unique properties that make them an invaluable asset in various industrial applications.

Polyurea Protective Coatings: A Game-Changer For The Oil and Gas Industry

Polyurea coatings are a type of elastomer that are fast-setting and extremely durable. They are distinct due to their exceptional resistance to corrosion, abrasion, and impact. Nukote Coating Systems is a leading manufacturer of polyurea protective coatings for the oil and gas industry. They are the only manufacturer in the world that offers an AWWA Class III semi-structural and Class IV fully structural spray applied polyurea system for rehabilitating assets like pipes.

These AWWA classifications signify high-performance coatings. Class III linings provide corrosion protection, have gap spanning capabilities, and possess the inherent ring stiffness to allow self-support. Class IV offers all of this along with the ability to survive a burst failure of the old pipe.

This makes these coatings particularly suitable for the harsh and challenging environments found within the oil and gas industry and an unmatched protective solution for this sector.

Uses of Polyurea Protective Coatings in the Oil and Gas Industry

Polyurea isn’t just another coating product; it’s a solution to a multitude of critical challenges that the oil and gas industry regularly grapples with.

  • Prevention of Corrosion and Abrasion: The oil and gas sector is continually at risk from corrosive substances that can significantly shorten the lifespan of its equipment and infrastructure (i.e. pump jacks, oil tanks, pipes, wellheads, oil and gas wells, sumps, trenches, chemical storage areas etc.). Polyurea coatings create an ultra-strong, elastomeric barrier that protects these assets from corrosion and physical damage. Its high-strength formulation provides a durable protective layer that outperforms traditional epoxies, polyurethanes, and other hybrid products.
  • Sealant and Waterproofing: Leaks can lead to catastrophic problems in the oil and gas industry, including environmental damage and financial losses. Polyurea acts as an effective sealant and waterproofing solution. Its rapid curing properties and flexibility enable it to seal off potential leak points quickly and effectively.  Polyurea is used for the exterior and interior protection of concrete and steel tanks, below and above ground tank and pipe encapsulation, the lining of evaporation pits and earthen containment areas, etc.
  • Structural Reinforcement: Polyurea does not only protect but also enhances the structural integrity of infrastructures. It’s remarkable elongation and strength properties increase the durability and resilience of infrastructure under harsh operational conditions, allowing them to withstand heavy loads and resist wear and tear better.
  • Secondary Containment: Government regulations require secondary containment enclosures that are capable of protecting the environment from accidental leaks or spills.  Polyurea helps to create a robust and reliable secondary containment system. This is vital in preventing environmental contamination, and polyurea’s chemical resistance properties make it particularly effective in this role.
  • Fire Resistance: Accidents, though rare, can occur in the oil and gas industry due to the nature of the flammable substances handled. Certain polyurea coatings like the Nukote FR (ASTM-84 Class 1 Fire Rated) are fire-resistant. These coatings add an extra layer of safety to prevent the potential hazards of fire on job sites. Whether it’s applied on equipment, storage tanks, or other infrastructure, it provides a barrier that can withstand high temperatures, helping reduce the risk of fire-related incidents.
  • Flow Enhancement/Assurance: Fluid flow efficiency is crucial in maintaining clean pipelines, including elbows, unions, and fittings. Polyurea coatings can help in enhancing this efficiency. The smooth, seamless surface created by polyurea reduces friction, turbulence, and product buildup inside pipelines, truck beds, etc. thus ensuring a consistent flow and minimized carry back. It minimizes the need for shutdowns for cleanups or replacements, promoting a more efficient and cost-effective operation.
  • Marine Protection:  The environment of offshore drilling structures can be harsh for surface coatings. Areas that would be most affected are decks, the superstructure, anchor or chain wells, and ballast tanks. These areas are exposed to salt and petroleum products and are susceptible to abrasion caused by the movement of equipment and people. An example of this would be areas on an oil rig where 14 metre lengths of drill pipe are laid out, dragged across the deck, and then raised up for drilling operations.  These areas are prone to a large amount of damage.  Polyurea outperforms other surface coatings that would be quickly abraded away in this use case.

Nukote Coating Systems’ Contribution to Polyurea Technology

Nukote Coating Systems has been one of the pioneers in the development of environmentally friendly polyurea protective coatings. With over 32 types of polyureas, they provide engineered solutions tailored to the specific needs of any project.

These solutions include the highly durable Nukote ST series, the ductile and load bearing Nukote PP300, the chemical-resistant Nukote Premera Chemshield, the hard-wearing Nukote CG, and the highly abrasion resistant  Nukote HAR. Each of these products is designed to meet unique industry challenges, showcasing the versatility and performance of polyurea coatings.

Case Studies: Real-World Applications of Polyurea Protective Coatings in the Oil and Gas Industry

Here are some examples of real-life applications of Nukote’s polyurea solutions in the industry.

Oil Sands Bitumen Sump Project, Canada

Oil Sands Bitumen Sump Project, Canada – Applying Nukote’s Polyurea Solutions

In May 2015, a major company in the oil industry faced a challenge. They needed a lining for a recovered bitumen tank overflow sump and its containment area that was both chemical-resistant and flexible in extreme cold. The solution was a polyurea coating system. New concrete was abrasive blasted and sealed with Nukote HLT. Bug holes were filled with a solid epoxy compound, and Nukote PolyPrime II was used as a primer. The final step was the application of Nukote ST Polyurea, ensuring a durable and flexible lining. Read more.

Anti-Corrosion Project, Suban Trunk Lines, Indonesia

Anti-Corrosion Project, Suban Trunk Lines, Indonesia – Applying a Polyurea Protective Coating System, Nukote HT

Conoco Phillips in Indonesia, a company in the oil and gas industry, required an anti-corrosion solution for their 8-10 and 12-inch diameter carbon steel SAW pipes. The project involved automated pipe coating facilities applying a polyurea protective coating system, Nukote HT, after cleaning the pipes with abrasive blasting.

The project was a success, with 19,000 linear meters of piping coated within the set time schedule, demonstrating the effectiveness of polyurea coatings in large-scale anti-corrosion projects. Learn more about this case study here.

Benefits of Polyurea Protective Coatings in the Oil and Gas Industry

In addition to their practical applications, polyurea coatings offer several compelling benefits.

  • Economic Advantages: The strength, durability, and long service life of polyurea coatings translate to significant cost savings over time. By reducing maintenance costs and extending the life of the infrastructure, polyurea ensures a high return on investment. Its rapid curing properties also mean less downtime during application, which can lead to further financial benefits.
  • Environmental Benefits: Polyurea coatings are not only effective but also environmentally responsible. They contain 100% solids with no VOCs, solvents, or ozone-depleting ingredients, making them a more sustainable choice. Furthermore, by preventing leaks and spills, polyurea coatings help reduce the environmental impact caused by the oil and gas industry.
  • Safety Enhancements: Polyurea’s superior durability and leak prevention properties help create a safer work environment. By strengthening infrastructure and preventing harmful leaks, it protects not only the workers but also the surrounding communities.

Learn More about Polyurea Protective Coatings in the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas industry is continually evolving, with polyurea coatings playing an increasingly important role in its advancement. Through manufacturers like Nukote Coating Systems, polyurea technology continues to bring unparalleled benefits to this essential sector.

However, getting the right polyurea coating solution for your particular project can be challenging. This is where IMC/Nukote Canada comes in. You can trust IMC for all your coating needs to ensure protection, durability, and longevity in your oil and gas operations. Get in touch with us today for top-tier solutions.

Karli Logan is the Owner and President of IMC Distributors which is the exclusive partner of Nukote Coating Systems in Canada. With a B.Sc and M.Sc, as well as a demonstrated history of working across a number of industries, she has a passion to drive significant gains and benefits for IMC’s clients.