Controlling corrosion


In my last blog, I discussed how corrosion occurs in the oil and gas industry and what equipment is most susceptible. For operators, this menace carries much more than just a financial cost; leakage of fluids also results in major health, safety and environmental risks.

To mitigate this, it’s important for operators to ensure they select the right materials for the life of field. But that’s not easy. Materials selection is a balancing act. It would be easy to select completely corrosion-resistant materials for all circumstances but you have to balance the properties. In actual fact, these corrosion-resistant materials might not be the appropriate strength needed to contain pressure at a specified temperature.

The industry, for example, is increasing the use of polymeric materials such as glass-reinforced epoxy pipe, but this is not always the answer. Especially in cases where you need to have welded connections or in high pressure applications.

What’s more, every supplier in the industry needs to know the safe operating limits of the equipment they provide and whether its materials need to be upgraded for specific operating conditions. If production conditions have drastically changed from the original design operators need to take steps to balance this change. By adjusting the operation of equipment, such as the selection of injected corrosion inhibitor chemical or the frequency of pigging you can slow down corrosion.

In fact, by providing this type of analysis to operators, Wood Group Intetech can help them defer investment decisions because our work provide confidence about the current conditions of the well, pipeline or plant – enabling operators to prioritise investment where it will make a vital difference.

And in the current climate, the need to find ways to extend the life of aging and corroded plants is ever increasing. Corrosion management optimisation always makes sense – lowering risk, extending equipment life and maintaining production.