Lab Canada

Partnership to develop pipe-corrosion solution for oil sands

Edmonton, AB – The Alberta Research Council (ARC), 3M Canada and Alberta Advanced Education and Technology (AET) are teaming up in an $800,000 project to develop pipe liners that will prevent corrosion and erosion and prolong pipeline life.

“ARC is helping 3M develop the pipeline liners by lending our expertise in product testing and evaluation,” says John Wolodko, project leader at ARC. “To do this, we are building a large scale flow loop that will test the liners and evaluate their performance. This will give 3M the opportunity to try out different ideas and see which ones will work best for the oil sands industry.”

The collaborative project is part of a larger strategy for 3M as it expands its technical footprint in Alberta. Part of this strategy has included doubling its manpower over the past year and offering the oil and gas industry product and technology solutions across three platforms: worker safety, well completion and corrosion protection.

“As one of Canada’s fastest growing economies, Alberta plays a vital part in 3M’s strategic plan,” says Randy Frank, laboratory manager, 3M Canada Energy Markets. “This partnership allows 3M to leverage ARC’s expertise and world-class testing capabilities to tackle a serious issue in oil sands. Knowledge gained from this experience will allow 3M to explore opportunities for larger projects in the province.”

“Working with 3M is another example of our government’s successful strategy to encourage collaborative research benefitting Alberta, “says Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. “This $800,000 project to enhance pipeline reliability and performance increases efficiency in a critical industry and ultimately contributes to our province’s growth.”

Construction of the flow loop lab and the development of the product concept will be done spring 2008. Then, phase two of the project – prototype design, fabrication and validation – will begin, and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year. The $805,000 project is funded through 3M ($375,000), ARC ($180,000) and AET ($250,000).