5 Minutes With: Helena Seelinger, senior official at NACE

Each month, Oil & Gas Middle East puts industry leaders in the hot seat with a quick-fire interview that cuts straight to the chase

Helena Seelinger is the chief regulatory and public affairs officer at NACE International Institute, the Houston-based corrosion management organisation.
Helena Seelinger is the chief regulatory and public affairs officer at NACE International Institute, the Houston-based corrosion management organisation.

What corrosion control measures can best protect oil and gas infrastructures from corrosion?

An integrity management regime that incorporates system operating history, corrosion control history, direct assessment, in-line inspection, and pressure testing, offers the best opportunity to identify risk, enhance safety, and target corrosion control remediation measures.  It is necessary to constantly assess infrastructure as its useful life progresses, in order to determine when to retire, rehabilitate, or replace assets that are at risk.

What advice would you give to offshore operators and contractors to help to mitigate corrosion? 

Offshore and maritime assets are especially susceptible to corrosion. There is no simple, ‘one-size-fits-all’ methodology. The most popular corrosion control technologies are the use of coatings and cathodic protection. A combination of integrated technologies and techniques, and a well-stocked corrosion control tool bag, have allowed the industry to better manage corrosion.

How does NACE International and the NACE Institute assist its members to reduce the impact of corrosion? 

NACE International and the NACE Institute assists its members by providing numerous resources, from publications to education and certification. One publication, the Guide to Improving Pipeline Safety by Corrosion Management provides a programmatic approach to managing corrosion on pipelines. We also offer courses on coating inspection,  cathodic protection, and the pipeline industry. Our courses are offered worldwide, and at our training facilities in Dubai and our HQ in Texas.

What challenges lie ahead for the oil and gas industry in the Middle East when it comes to corrosion management?

Service providers supporting the oil and gas industry in the Middle East are fairly new to the field, but the area is growing rapidly, with new players joining all the time. Because of technological advances and scientific research, many companies are not able to keep up and end up left behind, which presents a challenge for asset owners seeking to follow best practices in corrosion management and prevention.

What is NACE International doing to address these challenges?

One of the most important methods of preventing corrosion is the use of coatings. In the Middle East there is rapidly growing demand for coatings contractors, but no easy way for asset owners to determine whether a contractor is up-to-speed on the latest advances, standards, and practices. To address this, the NACE International Institute (NII) launched an accreditation programme, the NII Contractor Accreditation Programme (NIICAP).

About the interviewee: Helena Seelinger is the chief regulatory and public affairs officer at NACE International Institute, the Houston-based corrosion management organisation.

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