Surface Treatment Improves Flow Assurance and Throughput in Corroded Pipe
- Judy Feder (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 81 - 83
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 12 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 193109, “Flow Assurance and Improved Pipeline Efficiency Through Use of Low Surface Roughness Treatment,” by Matthew Nakatsuka, Vinod Veedu, Erika Brown, Sumil Thapa, and Ganesh Arumugam, Oceanit, prepared for the 2018 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, 12–15 November, Abu Dhabi. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
This paper describes a material designed to interact specifically with highly corroded and weathered pipe to enable in-place application and refurbishment. The material is applied extremely thinly on the pipeline interior, such that it might be considered a surface treatment, yet it is designed for permanence and for strong adhesion to even severely corroded surfaces. The water- and oil-compatible, chemically resistant material shows extreme resistance to corrosion, particle abrasion, and delamination under operational conditions, and is designed to reduce surface roughness by several orders of magnitude. The study of the practical effects of using a low-surface-energy, low-surface-roughness coating that can be applied effectively to severely corroded pipelines with a minimum of surface preparation demonstrates how material breakthroughs can allow for revitalization of previously mature intervention techniques.
Improving flow efficiency within transport pipeline systems has always been an appealing and seemingly straightforward method of reducing operating expenses, improving product throughput, and significantly reducing the risk of catastrophic pipeline failure. It is believed universally by pipeline operators that regular cleaning by mechanical and chemical pigging; adoption of preventative methods such as application of factory-applied, internally applied flow coats; or pipelines made of corrosion-resistant-alloy (CRA) materials would improve pipeline performance demonstrably. In practice, however, such innovations have been relegated to niche application because of two inherent fundamental constraints placed upon most major transport pipelines: They must operate continuously to turn a profit, and they are judged on delivering the minimum required flow at the lowest operating and capital investment.
These two principles have led to a general practice of resorting to mitigation measures once corrosion or adhered deposits become a problem that cannot be addressed easily. It is common to hear of operators waiting more than 30 years between interventions. Periodic maintenance techniques, such as introducing wire-brush pigs to mechanically dislodge such internal deposits, can result in impressive initial returns—reportedly more than $1 million per annum, and 5% improved throughput. However, these benefits are decidedly temporary because the treatments do not provide permanent protection against further corrosion or deposit, and much of the benefit is derived from the macroscopic effect of widening the cross-sectional area of the pipeline.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||3|