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Ceramic technology from 3M is protecting gas flowlines

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BG Group, one of the world’s largest gas exploration and production companies, is to use 3M’s ceramic sand screens to protect wells in Trinidad and Tobago following a successful trial.

The screens are designed to remove sand from hydrocarbons during the gas production process, protecting flowlines and equipment against abrasion and increasing yield.

BG Group has featured the product in a news item published on its website following the trial at a well in Bolivia. The article says that the ceramic sand screens from 3M have enabled it to extend the life of a field that had been earmarked for possible abandonment and achieve an eight-fold increase in production yield.

In addition, the 3M ceramic sand screens were awarded first place in BG’s Chief Executive Innovation Awards 2013.

Said Sean Appleton, marketing manager, 3M Oil and Gas: “Sand control represents a major challenge for oil and gas producers as sand particles from a well stream can cause major damage to flowlines and surface production equipment.

“Our sand screens are made from ceramics which are almost as hard as diamonds and ten times harder than metals and provide exceptional resistance to erosion when exposed to hard metal, grit or sand. The screens are also able to withstand extreme ranges in temperature and are resistant to corrosion from acids."

Although ceramic technology is new to the oil and gas sector, it is already commonly used in a number of industries, from defence to automobiles.

Said Asaf Nadeem, chief completions engineer at BG Group. “Using ceramics in this way is a first for our industry. We had a really good team which took this idea from a basic concept right up to putting the screens into the ground. We are now advising other companies in our industry who are keen on adopting our approach.”

A short video from BG Group is available to view on YouTube.

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