California-based smart pipe innovator Tri-D Dynamics Inc. and Japan-based global steel distributor Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. (MISI) have signed an agreement to develop smart pipelines that bring the benefits of digitally connected infrastructure to the energy industry. Under the agreement, Tri-D will provide design and advanced manufacturing IP to integrate sensors and electronic components into MISI pipelines used in oil and gas production, in a market with over 14 million metric tons of demand in 2019, according to a Dec. 17 announcement.
Embedded sensors and electronics will enable digital tracking of the pipes, called Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) over their lifecycle — from fabrication at the mill to transportation, storage and incorporation into the wellbore. The partnership will provide Exploration and Production (E&P) customers with increased accuracy, reliability, transparency and efficiency for one of the most critical pieces of well infrastructure.
“Adding full traceability to our tubular products from mill to wellbore is part of MISI’s commitment to delivering the highest quality products to customers. We look forward to working with Tri-D to provide new digital functionalities and value for E&P end users,” said the management of the Tubular Products Division at MISI.
Tri-D’s electronic tracking technology will be used in casings — lengths of pipe that are inserted into an oil or gas well to prevent the potentially disastrous effects of hydrocarbons leaking into the environment. The ability to fully trace how each segment of pipe was created, stored, transported and handled is imperative to maintaining quality and integrity in the well and ensuring safety. MISI plans to pair Tri-D’s automated digital tracking feature with the security and transparency of blockchain data management to help digitize and track more than 1M metric tons of OCTG products MISI sells globally every year.
“Bringing automated digital tracking to smart pipeline and tubular products will enable real-time and counterfeit-proof supply chain management, improving the safety and efficiency of delivering and using the fundamental pipe infrastructure of energy production,” said Tri-D CEO Deepak Atyam.