The Oil and Gas Non-Metallics Conference confirms composites are high on the Oil and Gas agenda

From Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th December 2016, Graham Harrison, Head of Governmental Affairs and Strategic Partnership at the NCC, attended the 2nd AMI international conference on Oil & Gas Non-Metallics 2016 in London at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel. Graham attended alongside 100 people from major oil companies such as Shell, Total and Chevron, major supply chain companies such as NOV, Schlumberger, GE and Trelleborg, and a host of polymer and fibre companies including 3M, Solvay and Victrex.

This international conference started with a welcome cocktail reception and accompanying exhibition on the first evening, followed by a two-day technical programme on polymer material selection, qualification and its uses in oilfield and gas engineering application.

Graham attended a technical forum for Oil and Gas operators, engineers, contractors and material and equipment suppliers to debate the use of non-metallic materials in critical applications. So, what was the overall impression of the role of composites in the Oil and Gas sector? Well, it’s clear that their use is growing and there is a huge appetite to use them because of their corrosion resistance (to environmental conditions and the ‘sour’ nature of the crude oil and gas) and weight savings. The use of composites is growing in the Oil and Gas industry, as seen by the installation of the first flexible thermoplastic pipe in the North Sea within the last few weeks. Whilst this is in a trial period, carrying water in the first instance, the intentions are that similar pipes will carry hydrocarbons in the future. This is a fantastic step for the industry, highlighting that times are changing and there is huge potential growth for composites in this industry.

This conference also highlighted that, whilst the industry is reeling from the fall in the price of crude (reduced in price by 50% from 2013), there are signs that investments can cut the operating costs in the medium and long term. There is increasing interest in this and composite materials are high on the agenda.

The Oil and Gas industry is an exciting sector, with fantastic growth opportunities within the composites market. The NCC looks forward to working more with this sector as it grows.

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