After several months of testing specially designed high manganese steel pipe for oilsands slurry transport at its Kearl oilsands mining project, Exxon Mobil Corp. has contracted with South Korea's largest steelmaker, Posco, for mass production of the pipe.
Developed by the two companies over the past five years, the high manganese steel pipe is highly abrasion resistant and provides high impact strength for transporting the abrasive product.
The proprietary high manganese steel, which contains three to 27 per cent manganese, may also be used for drilling and in applications ranging from heavy machinery for construction to bullet-proof military purposes.
In tests at Kearl, operated by ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil Limited, the pipe was found to have wear resistance five times higher than pipes made of conventional steel materials, according to a report in the Korea Herald.
Tom Schuessler, president of Exxon Mobil Upstream Research Company, signed the deal in a visit to the Posco Center in South Korea this week.