Metals represent more than 60% of Oil & Gas industry spending and present almost in every step of the industry value chain. There are a number of different types of metals used in the Oil & Gas industry. Here is a quick guide and all-you-need-to-know summary.


STAINLESS STEEL

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Type of iron steel with at least 10.5% of chromium that create a layer commonly called “passive layer” to provide protection against corrosion. Other metals, such as nickel and molybdenum might be present, to enhance corrosion-resistance properties.
  • Flowlines
  • Structural Components
  • Umbilicals
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Process Equipment  
  • Kitchen Appliance & catering  equipment ( biggest users) 
  • Construction & Building 
  • Transport 
  • China
  • Asia
  • EU
  • Outokumpu
  • POSCO
  • Shanxi TISCO
  • YUSCO 
  • Baosteel 



DUPLEX STAINLESS STEEL

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies
Steel material consisting of Austenitic (most common stainless steel) and Ferritic (magnetic stainless steel with less than 0.10% of carbon) dual microstructure. Duplex stainless steel is very strong with high corrosion resistance and stress corrosion cracking properties. Duplex stainless steel has less nickel and molybdenum than other alloys with corrosion resistance properties.  Hence, it could be a better alternative at times of high prices for nickel and chrome. In addition, Duplex Stainless Steel is more price stable.
  • OCTG
  • Storage Tanks & Pressure Vessels (due to reduced weight of steel) 
  • Petrochemicals
  • Bridges
  • Swimming pools
  • Storage & Transportation
  • Desalination plants
Various
  • Outokumpu
  • Sandvick
  • JFE Steel 



CARBON STEEL 

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Iron steel with less than 2 % of carbon content and a small composition of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur and silicon. Carbon steel is known to be very strong with high resistance to wearing, and the most produced material of all steel types.  The higher the carbon content, the harder it is to weld and machine it. Carbon steel could be Low, Medium, High and Very High.  All carbon steel is susceptible to corrosion. Chemical additives and coating help to control corrosion.
The most widely used in the Oil and Gas industry. Applications include:


  • OCTG
  • Flow lines  
  • Structural Components
  • Platforms & Jackets 
  • Pipelines
The most widely used type of steel
  • China
  • USA
  • Japan
  • Arcelor
  • Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
  • Hebei Iron & Steel
  • Baosteel 


FORGED STEEL & METALS

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
End product of a steel refinement process, whereby forces applied to achieve desired shape and strength. There are different types of forging techniques, namely: Impression Die Forging, Cold Forging, Open Die Forging, Seamless Rolled Ring Forging and Press Forging.
  • Generally, where steel strength heaviness is required. 
  • Wellheads & X-mass Trees
  • Subsea Equipment
  • Valves & Fittings 
  • Automotive parts
  • Hand Tools & Hardware
  • Construction equipment
  • Mining Equipment
  • Materials Handling 
  • Military
  • Shipbuilding
  • Aerospace
  • Nuclear 
  • EU
  • Asia 
  • Japan Steel Works 
  • Bethlehem 
  • Jayaswal Neco
  • Metalyst Forgin
  • M&M Forgings 
  • PCC Energy Group
  • BRÜCK
  • Mahindra CIE
  • ThyssenKrupp


ENGINEERED STEEL 

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Nickel, chromium, molybdenum or carbon containing steel. It is also known as special bar quality (SBQ) steel. Mainly used where, moving parts with safety / reliability risks
  • Completion Equipment
  • Shafts, Bearings
  • Drill Bits  
  • Automotive Parts
  • Hand Tools
  • Shafts & Valves
  • Industrial Machinery 
  • China
  • Japan
  • EU 
  • Citic
  • NSSMC
  • Timken Steel
  • Gerdau
  • Saarstahl
  • JFE 


NICKEL  ( scarce & declining resource metal) 

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Mainly used as an additional component to produce corrosion resistant alloys.

  • Wellheads, X-mass Trees
  • Subsea Equipment
  • Valves & Fittings
  • OCTG
  • Down-hole Equipment & Tools
  • Completion equipment
  • LNG &  Natural Gas Processing Plants 
  • Higher grade stainless steel and many exotic alloys in various industries
  • Rechargeable batteries 
  • Philippines (~14%)
  • Russia (~11%)
  • Indonesia (~10%)
  • Canada (~10%)
  • Australia (~9%) 
  • Norilsk Nickel- Russia
  • Vale - Brazil
  • BHP Billiton - Australia 


CHROMIUM   ( scarce & declining resource metal)

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Used to produce stainless steel and corrosion resistant alloys.Usage of chromium for the last several years increased significantly. There are various grades of chromium based steel products and could range from Cr13 till Cr35.
  • Wellheads, X-mass Trees
  • Valves & Fittings
  • OCTG
  • Down-hole Equipment & Tools
  • Completion Equipment
  • LNG &  Natural Gas Processing Plants 
  • Higher grade stainless steel and many exotic alloys in various industries
  • Widely used as a catalyst in petrochemical industry 
  • South Africa (~52%)
  • Kazakhstan (~14%)
  • India (~10%)
  • Turkey (~8%)
 
  • Assore
  • Lonmin
  • Anglo American
  • Impala Platinum
  • Glencore
  • Aquarius Platinum
  • Mechel
  • Kazchrome 


MOLYBDENUM ( Moly)

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Added to steel in order to increase strength of steel, enhance corrosion resistance qualities and ensure that steel can be used in extremely high temperature environments.
  • OCTG
  • Down-hole tools
  • Drill bits
  • Catalyst in petrochemical industry
  •  
Oil & Gas and petrochemical industries are major users of molybdenum.
Engineering & Stainless steel
  • China (~37%)
  • USA (~25%)
  • Chile (~13%)
  • Peru (~7%)
 
  • Freeport MnMoran
  • Codelco
  • Southern Copper
  • China Molybdenum
  • Thompson Creek Metals
  • Jinduicheng Molybdenum
  • Yichun Luming Molybdenum 


INCONEL 

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Inconel alloy is a corrosion resistant super alloy and is a trademark of Special Metals Corporation (PCC Energy Group).
Inconel is a nickel ( up to 70%) -chromium ( up to 24%) based alloy that used in high temperature, corrosion and pitting environments, acid applications, exposure to high mechanical stress and sea water.

There are a number of various grades of Inconel, but common grades in the Oil & Gas industry are 718, 628, 625,825, and 945.

For wellhead applications, Inconel 718 (solid) Inconel 625 (as cladding) are commonly used. Inconel 718 is also used for completion equipment in sour applications.

Inconel alloys are very hard to machine and weld. Machining of forged Inconel is even more time consuming process.
  • Chemical Processing Equipment
  • Components of gas turbines,
  • Valves
  • Completion Equipment 
  • Drilling Tools
  • MWD / LWD components
  • Flare booms
  • Wellhead Components (hangers)
 
  • Wind Turbine Blades
  • Rocket & Space Craft Engines
  • Critical components in the nuclear industry equipment 


INCOLOY

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Incoloy alloy is a corrosion resistant super alloy and is a trademark of Special Metals Corporation (PCC Energy Group)
Incoloy is a more cost effective alternative to Inconel, as it has higher composition of ferrous (iron). Incoloy alloys are best suited for sour gas, high chloride, process piping and aqueous environments, such as seawater and brine.

Incoloy 925, 625, 945 and 945X are commonly used in Oil & Gas applications

Incoloy 945 and 945X as the most recently developed alloys and are known to be one of the best corrosion resistance alloys available and used in Oil & Gas Industry only.

  • Completion Equipment
  • Packers
  • Drilling Tools
  • MWD / LWD components
  • Liquid / fluids separators 
 

  • Chemicals Industry 
  • Acids Vessels, Tanks & Pipelines




MONEL 

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Monel is a corrosion resistant super alloy and is a trademark of Special Metals Corporation (PCC Energy Group).

Monel is a nickel (avr 60%) and cooper (avr 30%) based alloy and used in many applications. Common grades in the Oil & Gas Industry are K500 and 400.

Monel K500 is used in completion equipment with high corrosion resistance and higher strength requirements.
  • Pumps & Valves
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Electrical Components
  • Down-hole Equipment & tools
 
  • Aerospace
  • Marine
  • Musical Instruments 


HASTELLOY

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Hastelloy is a corrosion / oxidation and erosion resistant nickel-molybdenum alloy produced by Haynes International Inc. In addition, Hastelloy has high mechanical strength, in particular at high temperatures.

Hastelloy is a member of supper alloys, of which Incoloy is a member as well. Although there are several common characteristics shared between two alloys, yet there are differences that are worth to be aware of such as weldability and suitability for various applications.

There are several types of Hastelloy, such as HastelloyB2, HastelloyS, HastelloyC, HastelloyW, HastelloyC276, HastelloyX and HastelloyN and all have its own applications with some degree of commonality. 

Peteochemical is a major user of Hastelloy in the Oil & Gas Industry.
 
  • Pumps & Valves
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Pressure Vessels 

 
  • Aerospace
  • Nuclear
  • Chemical Processing



TITANIUM 

Description 
Oil & Gas Applications 
Other Applications 
Major Producers 
Major Companies 
Titanium is very light but strong metal with high corrosion-resistant qualities
  • Pumps
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Risers 
  • Subsea Equipment 
  • Weight Reduction  

  • Aerospace
  • Military
  • Space
  • Medical
  • Automobile
  • Chemical industry 
  • China
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan 
  • Rio Tinto
  • Glencore
  • Vale 
  • Petropavlovsk
  • VSMPO-AVISMA 


Sources used: HardAssetsInvestor.com, Steel Technology, ISSF, various companies' reports and publications, Metal Bulletin, various trade associations, world steel association, forging.org.  statista.com, investingnews.com, USGS.