Oil & gas equipment corrode by 4-5% a year: Expert

Senior Saudi Aramco official says oil giant practises a 17-step corrosion management programme for asset protection

Mohammad A. Al-Sultan, manager- Mechanical Services Shops Department at Saudi Aramco, at the inauguration of MAF 2016 in Dubai on April 5.
Mohammad A. Al-Sultan, manager- Mechanical Services Shops Department at Saudi Aramco, at the inauguration of MAF 2016 in Dubai on April 5.

Corrosion is a natural phenomenon which makes the oil and gas industry suffer degradation of its equipment and units by 4 to 5% annually, a senior Saudi Aramco official has said.

Companies need to implement proper corrosion control and make investments in asset protection in order to increase the life cycle of its equipment, Mohammad A. Al-Sultan, manager- Mechanical Services Shops Department at Saudi Aramco, told arabianoilandgas.com.

“You get 4-5% degradation annually, depending on the equipment and its usage. That’s what you get when you build a pipeline and don’t look at it. Within 10 to 15 years it is out,” Sultan said in an interview.

“If, as an organisation, you do not comply with corrosion control standards, it reflects on your audit and raises costs on insurance, liabilities, etc. In the US oil and gas industry, corrosion is estimated to eat up $1tn a year, an amount that America could probably use to pay off some of its debts,” he quipped.

The expert however believes corrosion management in the regional oil and gas industry, and at Aramco specifically, has been decent enough. “I think we have gone a long way in protecting our equipment, scrapping our pipelines,” Sultan said he believes.

Sultan spoke of a special 17 to 21-step quality inspection programme that Aramco has designed and implemented to monitor all aspects of degradation, corrosion and erosion.

“We (at Aramco) have 17-steps that each operating facility needs to comply with. It (inspection) happens every year. Then there are findings also. I think in the last seven years we have made a leap forward in corrosion control through this 17-step programme,” he revealed.

The expert spoke on the sidelines of the first edition of a new oil and gas industry conference in Dubai, which Saudi Aramco has mainly sponsored. Organised by events company Neft Management, the Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition for Oil & Gas (MAF 2016) is running from April 5 to 7 at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road.

With Aramco as the main sponsor, the event is also being supported by SABIC, Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University and the ASM Saudi Chapter.

The organisers claim over 500 energy industry professionals from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, US, UK, France, Germany, Poland and Switzerland attended the 3-day event.

Being just the first edition, the exhibition hosted about 30 companies including Advanced Precision Services, Quartzelec, Dresser Al Rushaid, Maritime Industrial Services Arabia, Trinity Holdings, Alba Power, Ethos Energy, that showcased its products and services.

“We hope to organise the MAF exhibition every year, although we haven’t yet decided upon the venues,” Dr. Jamal Nayfah, dean of the College of Engineering at Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University in Saudi Arabia, told arabianoilandgas.com.
“But we want to do it in Dubai each year, as this is a good venue for exhibitions,” Nayfah said.

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Oil & Gas Middle East - September 2020

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