It’s a Battle Out There, Corrosion in Oil & Gas Production Offshore

This document is provided to increase communication between the Mechanical Integrity Team and their partners to further ensure Oil & Gas Producing Assets are safe and reliable. Exploration and production (E&P) companies have been using very basic nondestructive examination (NDE), ultrasonic (UT) and radiographic (RT) methods to perform erosion corrosion inspection surveys on oil and gas pressure vessels and associated piping in order to obtain wall thickness measurements. Following the guidance of API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code and API 570 Piping Inspection Code, these measurements have been used to calculate corrosion rates which in turn have been used to calculate expected life cycles for generating future inspection schedules. This paper provides an overview of the type of assets requiring NDE, the basic corrosion mitigation strategies and the basic NDE techniques as well as their limitations. The author has over 40 years’ experience both as an NDE technician and a materials/corrosion engineer stewarding the erosion corrosion inspection survey programs for a number of E&P companies in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). It is apparent that there can be potential problems when inaccurate thickness measurements (TMLs) are used to calculate the extent of corrosion (in mils per year) and schedule future inspections based on life cycle estimates.

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