Until they are used in a drilling job, pipe segments have to be protected in storage at the oil and gas fields. They can be subjected to a number of corrosive effects from weather and chemical fumes in the immediate area. This hazard becomes more of a danger to the condition of the pipe segment the longer it must be stored at the drilling field. The threads are particularly vulnerable as they have less thickness than the main body of the pipe. Protecting the threads is particularly important because leakage is most likely at the connector joints where pipe segments are screwed together. Also, transporting the pipe from the supply depot to the worksite can also entail certain material hazards which may degrade the quality of the piping before it can be used. Shifting during transport can cause dents if pipe segments crash into one another, and each dent is a weakness which renders the pipe vulnerable to failure under stress or to corrosive forces.
Plastic line pipe protectors are very useful in a large number of storage and transport situations. Modern industrial plastics are formulated to withstand high temperatures and are corrosion-resistant. Present-day resin formulas are durable in a number of different conditions unlike what was possible in previous years and are relatively cheap to manufacture. This helps with cost-control for materials and containment, important factors in budgeting for a project.
The use of plastic thread protectors is equally important as an additional safeguard. Made from the same durable resins as the line protectors, these screw right onto the connector joints and provide an additional layer of protection against the elements. As mentioned earlier, the connectors are more vulnerable due to their lesser thickness. Corrosion here compromises the integrity of the piping after it is joined and screwed together. Oil and gas leaks not only cost money through loss of material but constitute both an environmental hazard and a fire danger. And additional financial losses from both the replacement, decontamination of the leak site, and the downtime of the pipeline will mount up.
Oil and gas drilling is a stop-start business. The need to store piping for indeterminate periods of time before usage necessitates protection to keep the pipe in prime condition up to the moment it is assembled as part of the drilling apparatus or the transport network. Plastic protectors guarantee the long-term integrity of piping up to and through its eventual usage.