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Eighty professionals representing the oil and gas supply chain and academic institutions met for two days in September in São Paulo to evaluate the steelmaking, pipe production and corrosion resistance of a new steel design. Sponsored by CBMM, the International Seminar on Ultra Sour Service, Low Manganese Linepipe Steel -- The New Paradigm grew out of the work presented by Dr. Malcolm Gray at another CBMM event, the International Seminar on Microalloyed Steels for Sour Service, which was held in 2012. 

Sour service environments are associated with certain oil and gas exploration activities. These environments are corrosive and present particular challenges that can lead to pipe failure in extreme situations. As increasing numbers of pipelines are operating in these hostile environments, there is a pressing need to develop materials that are safe, effective and economical. 

To address the challenges inherent in these conditions, and deliver properties that are attractive for sour service applications, CBMM has been working closely with the entire supply chain to develop a promising new pipeline steel design with lower levels of manganese.

A worldwide trial was coordinated and sponsored by CBMM to test the new concept. To that end, slabs were produced at different steelmakers in China, Mexico and Germany. The slabs were delivered to 17 hot mill rollers who fabricated coils and plates, and these products were sent to 12 pipe manufacturers around the world. The coils, plates and the pipes were then rigorously tested and studied. 

The purpose of the recent seminar was to bring together the various parties involved in the project to discuss their experience with the new design and obtained results. The presentations revealed the promising potential of these steels to deliver better end products, in addition to providing benefits to steel producers related to manufacturing parameters. 

Given the positive initial results, the worldwide trial will continue to evaluate the novel concept that represents a new paradigm in the safe, efficient transportation of oil and gas.