Preserving Platforms in The Gulf of Mexico with Protective Offshore Coatings

The Gulf of Mexico is home to over 4,000 offshore oil and gas platforms, making it one of the most active regions for offshore drilling in the world. These platforms are essential for extracting oil and gas, but the harsh environmental conditions that they face can lead to deterioration and structural failures if not properly addressed. For that reason, it is crucial for owners of offshore assets to take action against the risks of offshore corrosion.

We recognize that protective coatings like ours play a critical part in ensuring the structural integrity of offshore platforms and the safety of onsite personnel. In today’s article we’ll explore the importance of protective coatings in offshore environments, how they can help protect platforms from corrosion and other environmental factors, and why over 1.5 million square feet of platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are protected by Tesla NanoCoatings.

The Challenges of Protecting Offshore Platforms

The Gulf of Mexico is a prime example of one of the most aggressive environments for metal structures. Agitates like saltwater, extreme temperatures, and high winds pose daily threats to platforms in the gulf environment. The following are the most prominent coating challenges faced in the offshore industry that we set out to address with our offshore coating products.

Protecting Against The Elements

Corrosion from the elements is the largest concern for offshore platforms by far, as it can cause detrimental damage and lead to costly repairs if not quickly detected. The best way to fight corrosion is to prevent it from happening in the first place. That’s where offshore coatings come in.

Offshore coatings are designed to protect against corrosion by creating a barrier between the platform and any corrosive elements. Traditionally these coatings consist of corrosion-resistant components like epoxy, polyurethane, or zinc. At Tesla NanoCoatings, we take things a step further with our carbon nanotube technology which amplifies the properties of our coatings to a previously unheard of degree.

Combatting Corrosion from Offshore Oil & Gas

Offshore platforms are not only exposed to the elements, but naturally they also come into contact with corrosive substances such as oil and gas. These substances can cause deterioration, which can compromise the integrity of the platform.

Offshore coatings can combat corrosion from many sources, from elements of the environment to extracted oil and gas. An effective coating should be chemically resistant to these substances to protect against corrosion caused by any contaminants.

Ensuring Safety with Non-Skid Deck Coatings

While corrosion is the biggest detriment to the platforms themselves, workers also have to worry about the personal safety issues that come with working in an offshore setting. Offshore platforms are often riddled with slip and fall risks as a result of waves and ocean spray, making every walkway a potential hazard for workers. Non-skid deck coatings are designed to provide a safe and slip-resistant surface, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries.

“At Tesla, we focused on the offshore market because that’s where we see our value proposition as being the strongest.”

-Malcolm Kerr, President of Global Sales

Why Our Advanced Offshore Coatings Work

Offshore coatings are specially designed to protect against these conditions and more to extend the life of oil & gas platforms. They act as a multi-faceted barrier between the platform and the surrounding elements, providing protection against impacts, corrosion, UV damage, and more.

There are several types of offshore coatings available, but none come close to offering the same magnitude of protection as TESLAN. Here are just a few products of ours that have provided our customers in the Gulf of Mexico with the most reliable offshore protection.

Our Spin on Zinc-Rich Protective Coating Systems

Zinc coatings are highly resistant to saltwater and can provide excellent protection against corrosion for offshore platforms. However, traditional zinc coatings often lack in strength and are easily buffeted by ocean waves as a result.

Our zinc-rich epoxy coatings are reinforced by carbon nanotubes which form a rebar-like structure within the film. These electrically conductive nanostructures make TESLAN coatings highly resistant to impact and further enhance their cathodic protection capabilities.

Non-Skid Epoxy Deck Coatings Done Right

Non-skid deck coatings are essential to offshore oil & gas safety. Despite this, most coating manufacturers just can’t seem to get it right. Uneven aggregate distribution in offshore deck coatings makes platform safety inconsistent at best, and ineffective at worst.

We spent years developing the deck coating solution that the offshore industry has so desperately needed. The result is our NANO Non-Skid deck coating, which applies in a single, even coat and helps our customers meet ISO 12944-9 and NORSOK 501 standards.

A Metal Pit Filler for Offshore Applications

Offshore replacements are costly, no matter how you dice it. To avoid replacing some costly components that have been damaged by rust, owners and operators will turn to metal pit fillers. As you might guess, the industry standard for these pit fillers is sub-par and most fillers do not produce the desired result.

Our pit filler is not only effective, it’s efficient. We developed our metal pit filler to be easy to apply, quick to set, and compatible with all of our outstanding protective coatings.

Making History in the Gulf of Mexico

Tesla NanoCoatings may be known for our historical breakthroughs in carbon nanotube technology, but since 2016 we’ve been making history in the Gulf of Mexico too. In early 2023, we reached our biggest milestone yet with over a million and a half square feet of TESLAN material applied to offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico alone. This doesn’t take our other offshore endeavors into account, such as the Persian Gulf where we work closely with major O&G companies like Saudi Aramco.

What began as a single offshore coating project has taken the oil & gas industry by storm as more and more companies operating in the Gulf learn about what Tesla can do for them. People have developed the expectation that an offshore coating will last as little as just half a year, 5 years max, before needing to be overhauled. What Tesla NanoCoatings customers like Shell Oil Co. have found is that our one of a kind formulation extends coating life to 8 years or more. Today, each of our coatings applied in the Gulf are still going strong with zero recorded replacements.

The Future of Tesla NanoCoatings in the Gulf

“Our technology and our materials are specifically designed for the most aggressive circumstances. And so when it comes to a broader marketing program, one that you might see in a typical scenario, ours has been far more focused in the industry that we can make the most impact in.”

– James McDonald, Business Development Executive

At Tesla NanoCoatings, we envision our offshore coatings preserving platforms in the Gulf of Mexico for years, even decades to come. We have already experienced exponential growth in global sales in just the past few years due to our coatings’ effectiveness. As our product continues to speak for itself, it’s our goal to expand our presence across the Gulf and beyond as an authority in offshore platform preservation.