Choosing steel tubes for sweet environments

There are many interesting applications for ERW tube in the oil and gas industry. It has uses for extraction, processing, refining, transport, and more. Because it is dealing with such valuable resources, the tubing must be high quality and reliable. It must also be able to withstand the operating conditions.

Crude oil is one of the most important resources in the world. We rely on it for power, even with efforts to move to more sustainable alternatives. In addition, we use it to create a massive array of different products, including waxes, lubricating oils, plastics, and more.


ERW tubeThe main issue with crude oil is it contains all kinds of potentially damaging impurities. This can include heavy metals, salts, and other elements. They can damage the infrastructure and cause big problems.

Sulfur is the major thing to look at here. It can lead to the release of toxic, highly corrosive gases. These can cause massive problems for tubes, tanks, and all kinds of equipment. Depending on the volume, the operating environment may be referred to as sweet or sour. If there is more than 0.5% sulfur, we call the environments sour. The high amount of corrosive hydrogen sulphide gas means you need to choose materials with high corrosion resistance.

Sweet operating environments are where there is less than 0.5% sulfur. While they can still be hazardous, corrosion is not as serious an issue as it is in sour environments. Therefore, you may not need to choose materials with higher corrosion resistance. You may be perfectly fine with steel ERW tube.

Why is sweet crude more valuable?

Of the two types, sweet crude is more sought-after. This is because it is generally higher quality. The lower sulfur content and reduced corrosiveness are important here. They make it easier to deal with and means there are fewer steps in the processing. In addition, you can refine it into higher quality fuels.

Sweet crude is also lighter, with a lower density than sour. Often it is lighter than water. This provides major advantages when it comes to extraction and transportation.

Another benefit is sweet crude has a higher energy content. This is generally because it contains more light hydrocarbons. They have greater energy potential than heavier ones. For example, sweet crude is likely to contain more methane, propane, and butane. Sour crude on the other hand can contain more bitumen and asphalt.

Do you want to order ERW tube?

Union Steel Tubes has been supplying quality tubing for a long time. Our goal is to give every single client the best products. We also strive to ensure we are always ready to help clients with new projects, including designing new innovative industrial facilities. We can share our expertise about the different types and specs of tube.

So, if you ever need ERW tube, including for dealing with sweet crude oil, speak to us. We can work with you, offering reliable products, great prices, and fast delivery.