Case Study

Case Study: Field study on Electroless-Nickel coating technology (ENC) shows significant improvement in terms of corrosion and scaling resistance in SAGD wells


Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), one of the oldest and largest independent and non-profit R&D organizations in the U.S., conducted lab testing on the performance of coated coupons with RGL’s electroless nickel-coating (ENC) technology, L80 and K55 control samples. RGL’s ENC had shown promising results in the laboratory and the team was eager to prove the technology in the field.

A SAGD operator in Western Canada was interested to see how RGL’s ENC could help mitigate corrosion, erosion, and scaling issues in their SAGD wells.


The team decided to test RGL’s ENC technology in a client’s SAGD well using coated and uncoated pup joints in different sections of the well. After two and half months of circulation and two weeks of production, the coated and uncoated pub joints were recovered and sent to the University of Alberta’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering for further comparative analysis.

Samples were subjected to x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and energy-dispersive spectroscopy tests which indicate the extent of corrosion and accumulation of fouling substances. The EN-coated and uncoated carbon steel samples were compared for corrosion resistance, scale, hardness and adhesion of inorganic and organic materials in a series of laboratory tests.


Results showed that RGL’s ENC significantly improved corrosion resistance in a SAGD high pressure and high temperature environment.

Lower forces of adhesion and improved antifouling performance of ENC were significant in comparison to the carbon steel joint removed from the same section of the well.

The field test verifies laboratory results that in SAGD conditions, ENC reduces corrosion occurrence by 75%, scaling deposition by 95%, and is two times harder than carbon steel.

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