Special Report: Being proactive

Dr Derek McNaughtan, principal corrosion engineer, Asset Integrity Engineering, says OE and effective corrosion control go hand in hand

Dr Derek McNaughtan, principal corrosion engineer at AIE.
Dr Derek McNaughtan, principal corrosion engineer at AIE.

The costs associated with inadequately managed corrosion can range from unplanned shutdowns and unbudgeted capital expenditure to full replacement of machinery and equipment. A 2016 corrosion study by NACE International identified that the cost of corrosion amounts to approximately $2.5tn per year on a global scale.

A major contributory factor to failures from corrosion is often a consequence of ineffective intervention linked to corrosion management, inspection and/or commitment from management. Such oversights and inaction are typical historically within the oil and gas industry.

Furthermore, with the current volatile market conditions, operators now face an ever-increasing burden to improve margins, lower costs and further optimise health, safety and reliability of their operations often at the expense of on-going inward investment in their business.

Whilst Asset Integrity Engineering (AIE) takes the view that cost controls and reductions are necessary, this must be balanced by the fact that the majority of facilities are aged, and operators must not lose sight of the effects these cost controls have on the short, medium and longer-term ability to maintain their business performance; the need for operational excellence (OE) has never been greater.

OE, an aspiration for most oil and gas companies, creates value through systematic and repeatable actions that are clear and addressable for everyone in the company. It relies on clear direction, leadership, training and well-documented standard processes, which when applied over time lead to continuous improvement of operating performance. It is when everyone in an organisation understands how to implement these tasks, with the appropriate resources, that true operation excellence can be achieved.

Through internal training and a culture of challenging the status quo, AIE is actively developing an atmosphere of OE. With the combination of a young innovative workforce, coupled with the experience of our subject matter experts and standardised systems for various corrosion and integrity management systems, AIE has aided numerous clients in building proactive corrosion management and integrity systems, enabling them to address challenges with an integrated approach and a long-term sustainable strategy in mind.

AIE’s corrosion experts state that, “corrosion management and control are two core activities for maintaining asset integrity, reliability and safety. These activities provide the basis for effective monitoring and mitigation of the destructive corrosion process over the life cycle of an asset. However, the measures and processes put in place need to be practical and achievable.”

Our range of activities is designed to intervene and mitigate the negative causes and impact of degradation in a wholly integrated and holistic approach to corrosion and flow assurance management. This philosophy forms the basis of AIE’s in-house Veracity CCM software that was developed to support the implementation of our corrosion management system.

Veracity CCM enables proactive decision-making on the effectiveness of the corrosion controls in place, allowing operators to translate this key data into readily assimilated information and thereby achieve operational excellence.

With visibility on long-term trends for corrosion rates and production profiles, decisions such as optimising corrosion inhibitor injection doses or selection of new corrosion inhibitor can be readily undertaken. With graphing and multi-level reporting capabilities, Veracity CCM establishes transparency in all chains of communication.

It is AIE’s priority to ensure that corrosion management and integrity strategies are efficiently and cost effectively executed and are periodically reviewed to ensure that the recommendations are appropriate and realistic. As such, Veracity CCM now accommodates various real-time monitoring and reporting technologies. With clear visibility on ongoing integrity threats, Veracity CCM enables operators to effectively manage key threats and maintain plant up-time. 

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