Nickel-based super alloys for sour wells

The new face of oil and gas discovery will be with deep wells. As compared to shallow wells, deep wells normally need high performance nickel based alloys. Wells are classified as sweet or sour. Sweet wells are just mildly corrosive, whilst sour wells are extremely corrosive. Material selection is particularly critical for sour gas wells. The chosen material should be corrosion resistant, economically priced, reliable and have suitable strength for the wells. In the severe conditions, material selection varies from carbon steels for sweet wells to duplex stainless steel to Incoloy 825 for sour well service.

Age hardened nickel base alloys and cold processed solid solution nickel base alloys offer several advantages like high strength, toughness and low magnetic permeability and outstanding corrosion resistance. Properties of Inconel bars are ideal to be chosen for service in the well conditions.

Material choice for down-hole and wellhead components like hangers, safety valves, pumps and packers demand age hardenable alloys to receive essential strength in heavier cross-section. Nickel alloys widely used in these applications are: Inconel 718, Inconel X750, and Monel K-500.

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