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These will be used for an ultra-deep gas field development project in the Gulf of Mexico Deep Shelf.

The highly corrosion-resistant seamless pipes – the JFE-UHP-15CR-125 produced at JFE Steel’s Chita works – is the largest so far of this model of heavy-walled casing, according to the Japanese steelmaker in a statement on Monday October 21.

The project is producing natural gas by using commercial wells at depths of up to 8,900m. Previously, it had been considered particularly difficult to drill far beyond conventional depths of around 5,000m due to excessively harsh conditions, JFE said.

In this case, the pipes had to be made much stronger and thicker than conventional ones to resist the greatly increased inner pressures and loads, and resistant to both corrosion and temperatures in excess of 230 degrees Celsius.

To meet such requirements, JFE Steel said it developed the necessary technologies to manufacture heavy-walled steel pipe that greatly exceed the 13mm thickness of conventional casing pipe.

The success of this project is expected to lead to increased use of ultra-deep wells, now that it has been confirmed that natural gas deposits can exist under conventionally developed gas pools, JFE added.