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Integrity of Aging Assets: Using Corrosion Data to Stave Off Extinction

By Christiane Lederer |

Petroleum refineries built in the 1960s and 1970s have trouble dealing with the corrosive effects of modern feedstocks. Continuous monitoring of corrosion can prevent process equipment failures Aging assets that are past their original design life are becoming an increasingly stark problem for the global oil-and-gas industry. In fact, mature assets currently account for more than 70% of global oil-and-gas production. When the oil and gas fields these assets were designed to use as feedstock were first discovered, enhanced oil recovery techniques, such as thermal recovery, hydraulic fracturing, and gas- or chemical-injection technologies had not yet been employed. With the evolution of technology, operators have been able to increase the volumes of recoverable reserves from around 20 to up to 70%. However, oil and gas produced using these modern extraction methods often present corrosion and other problems. Many operators today are dealing with mature assets installed in the 1960s and 1970s (Figure 1) with an original design life of around 20 years. Having now been in operation for more than double that time, they’re at the highest risk point of their lifecycle. Figure 1. Aging refineries are now dealing with highly corrosive…
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