The Corrosion Challenge

The Corrosion Challenge

Posted: July 31, 2017

Preventing corrosion is vital in every step in the production of oil and gas. From pipelines to production platforms, from drilling through to abandonment, corrosion is an adversary worthy of all the high technology and research we can throw at it.

The total annual cost of corrosion in the oil and gas production industry is estimated to be $1.372 billion, broken down into $589 million in surface pipeline and facility costs, $463 million annually in downhole tubing expenses, and another $320 million in capital expenditures related to corrosion. Corrosion costs the oil and gas industry tens of billions of dollars in lost income and treatment costs every year.

The need to change

A growing proportion of our global subsea infrastructure and platforms are reaching the end of their intended design life – some have already exceeded design life. Combine this with the challenges we currently face as an industry and you realise there is a need to look and behave differently from what we are used to. We need to collaborate to deliver more for less. We need to work together earlier.

Asset integrity can only be achieved effectively if we have the right data and information to make informed decisions. Too often we take action based on poor data because we’re scared of what might happen; this is the harsh reality that faces every asset manager. In parallel, there is a drive to delay action and reduce costs. Solutions that can improve knowledge on the true integrity of assets are enablers for getting the timing right for the right action. This is critical if, as an industry, we are to remain competitive and meet the challenge of reducing costs.

A new approach

Once we understand what action needs to be taken, we need to challenge ourselves to understand what the appropriate, fit for purpose and cost effective solutions are from the outset. Too often we default back to convention by purchasing hardware before planning the installation. Is there another option, an ingeniously simple option?

Proserv has developed an innovative suite of technologies to improve data quality on subsea corrosion monitoring, simplifying the decision making process and reducing risk. Proserv’s data can prove that, despite visual and ROV probe inspection, the asset is protected and will reach the required design life.

Should action in the form of anode retrofit be required, Proserv’s leading approach is to develop the installation methodology first and cathodic protection design second. Adopting this approach with unique technologies, such as friction welding with ROVs, is creating a step-change in the industry as Proserv continues to partner with clients to develop the right solution.

The solution

With Proserv’s NASCoM Acoustic Monitoring and Control technology, data relating to the corrosion and protection status of assets can be recovered without having ROVs or divers in the water. Not only does this enable data to be recovered at a much greater frequency than before but the cost of doing so is significantly reduced.

Through Proserv’s NASCoM technology, the data is also better quality as the monitors are at fixed permanent locations meaning that errors are less prevalent and trending over time is significantly more accurate.

Proserv’s friction welding technology provides the ability to retrofit galvanic anodes with ROVs to platforms, FPSOs, pipelines and subsea structures. This innovative technical solution offers asset owners a new alternative to impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems and clamps fitted by divers. The same solution is also used to attach acoustic corrosion monitors that not only enable the condition of the asset to be known, they also provide data on the performance of the retrofitted anode system. The technology has a strong proven track record and has become an essential part of many asset owners’ corrosion and integrity management programmes.

What are the benefits of friction welding?

  • Significantly reduced installation costs
  • A fully ROV installed galvanic anode retrofit solution
  • Ability to retrofit discrete sacrificial anodes to in service FPSO hulls
  • Extremely low resistance and robust connection
  • Extremely low profile termination reducing snag risk
  • No stray currents that could damage electrical equipment and control systems
  • Minimal detrimental effect to the structural integrity of the parent material

What other applications is friction welding used for?

  • Anode attachment in oil storage tanks
  • Brownfield topside structural upgrades and repairs
  • Subsea remediation – securing of caissons and fastening of cofferdams
  • Greenfield modifications – new topside modules on FPSOs and platforms
  • Attachment of nipples – hot tapping and salvage
  • Pin hole leak repairs – friction plug welding


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