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3M serves oil and gas market upstream, midstream, downstream

The oil and gas industry is getting a second wind buoyed by new reserves and new extraction technologies as global development drives more hunger for energy.

In fact, oil and gas are expected to be the world’s top energy sources and account for 60 percent of the global energy demand by 2040, according to Debarati Sen, business director, Oil & Gas, in the Mining, Oil and Gas Solutions Division.

Oil rig

3M’s solutions address the needs of companies in all three sectors of the oil and gas industry: upstream (exploration and extraction), midstream (storage and transportation) and downstream (refining, processing, distribution).

The oil and gas market comprises companies that explore, produce, refine and distribute oil and gas and associated chemicals. These customers need a wide range of products in complex applications. Until recently, 3M served this market by selling through multiple divisions.

Last year, 3M created the Mining, Oil and Gas Solutions Division in order to have one customer-facing organization to serve this market. The goal is twofold: to provide better exposure for the 10,000 applicable 3M products, and to help 3M better understand and serve the industry.

“Our market-focused effort gives 3M a coordinated approach to these customers. We believe 3M should have more sales in this market because we have technologies that can help oil and gas customers with some of their toughest challenges,” said Jeff Lavers, vice president and general manager, Mining, Oil and Gas Solutions Division.

Right approach for the time

Targeted customers include operators; engineering companies that design and build rigs and refineries; energy service companies; and product-specific suppliers, such as companies that apply pipeline coatings. 3M offers these customers an extensive array of solutions, culled from 40-plus technology platforms and from product lines manufactured across the company.

“The oil and gas industry is challenged by hard-to-reach reserves, transportation, harsh environments and a shortage of qualified personnel,” explained Sen. “The industry needs new solutions where conventional products and processes are becoming inadequate.

3M’s solid brand reputation and ability to drive innovations brings tremendous value to this risk-averse industry. “By bringing one face to our customers, partnering with them in research and application development, and serving their needs through our global footprint, we can differentiate ourselves and become the trusted partner they need,” Sen added.

A wide array of solutions

3M’s solutions address the needs of companies in all three sectors of the oil and gas industry: upstream (exploration and extraction), midstream (storage and transportation) and downstream (refining, processing, distribution). All three need products and processes to protect people and the environment, to protect and enhance the lifespan of critical assets, and to improve productivity.

For example, 3M™ Glass Bubbles, which reduce the density of drilling fluids, are used in deep-water insulation and buoyancy applications, enabling operations at greater depths. 3M™ Scotchkote™ External Coatings protect the external surfaces of steel pipes from corrosion.

“In addition, over the last five to 10 years the oil and gas industry has been increasingly driven to develop unconventional resources in a responsible, environmentally sensible and sustainable way,” said Jeff Tane, technical director for the division. This includes the oil sands in Alberta, Canada; deep offshore reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea; and shale gas and tight oil basins in the U.S.

“By leveraging our expertise in advanced and specialty materials, 3M will help the industry with products that can withstand the harsh environments and lifecycle management challenges the industry faces,” Tane continued.

Growth potential ahead

“3M can help customers be more productive and efficient while protecting themselves and the environment with 3M technology and products,” Lavers said. “The oil and gas industry is challenged with finding, extracting and producing gas and oil in more challenging geological and environmental settings. We believe this represents significant growth opportunities for 3M’s technologies.”

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