GATE’s capabilities in materials and corrosion engineering are well recognized within the industry and have played key roles in hydrocarbon developments worldwide.
The Corrosion, Materials and Integrity Team for oil and gas developments and water and gas injection systems forms one of GATE’s core oil and gas engineering services. The Corrosion, Materials and Integrity Team is involved at all stages of project development (Concept to Operations) and offers a significant interface with chemical systems engineering, flow assurance, operations, installation, and surveillance teams.
The GATE Corrosion, Materials and Integrity Team team develops whole-life cost solutions to corrosion and materials issues in the areas of:
- Downhole & Subsea Materials Selection and Qualification Erosion/Corrosion Risk Assessment and Modeling Scaling Studies (Formation Risk, Removal and Mitigation Strategies)Failure Analysis Protective Coatings and Cathodic Protection System Design Monitoring And Inspection Strategies During Field Design
- Topsides Materials Selection including Protective Coatings, Cathodic Protection Systems, Corrosion Monitoring, and Erosion Monitoring Systems
- Inspection and Auditing During Fabrication And Vendor Qualification
- Including Welding, Coating, Anode Chemistry, Positive Material Identification
- Pigging Solutions for Deepwater Production Flowlines and Risers Peer Review of System-Wide Materials Selections
- Linking Material Selection, Selection of Coatings and Field Joints Studies
- Risk-Based Assessment and Inspection Planning Troubleshooting Corrosion Problems on Operating Facilities
GATE’s Corrosion, Materials and Integrity Team is involved with detailed material selection and qualification support with the goal of ensuring the selection of fit for service materials and their appropriate manufacture and fabrication. This work also ensures that designs conform to the latest codes and standards for downhole, subsea, and topsides equipment, while taking into account past project experience and industry best practice.
Corrosion Engineering Management
Material selection recommendations on a project are supported and supplemented by comprehensive corrosion, erosion, and souring reviews using various software packages. Our engineering support also extends to developing and coordinating corrosion testing and inhibitor qualification programs, to validate both material and chemical selection choices. This exercise also involves the recommendation, specification and commissioning of corrosion probes and sand monitors. In addition, the team extends its expertise to help develop and implement surveillance programs to ensure ongoing asset integrity through the life of the development.
Corrosion engineering management also extends to the troubleshooting of corrosion problems on operating facilities. This includes the management and mitigation of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC) modeling and failure mechanisms.
Coatings and Cathodic Protection
GATE provides detailed engineering support for coating selection and cathodic protection design. This also includes the qualification of coating applicators and anode manufacturing facilities. Associated responsibilities include supporting flowline and equipment installations for deepwater facilities and the post‐installation surveying of equipment.
Risk Based Assessment and Inspection
GATE provides risk based assessment and inspection services for its clients on various stages of the project by pursuing a systems engineering approach to the problem. This includes the development and oversight of risk‐based inspection (RBI) programs and the detailed selection of appropriate condition monitoring points and surveillance locations. Although GATE is familiar with the API approach to RBI, we have developed a streamlined in‐house methodology that enables RBI programs to be developed in a much shorter timeframe with a documentation process that is fully auditable and traceable in the same way as the API approach.
GATE provides integrity assurance support to its clients by using the principle of a systems approach that complements our engineering experience by considering systemic risks through equipment interactions and design analysis. Risk assessment is a key element in managing pipeline system integrity, which involves identification and management of the risks through development of an investigation, intervention, redesign and inspection plan.
Recent & Key Projects Involving Materials & Corrosion
The GATE Corrosion, Materials and Integrity Team support a wide range of projects from conceptual, selection, design and fabrication though operations from small developments involving a tieback to large developments of an entire field.
BP Pipeline – Flow Assurance Management Program (FAMP)
BP Pipeline oversees the operation of 9 total oil and gas export systems from more than 20 different platforms in the GoM. The pipeline systems transport almost half-million barrels of oil and hundreds of MMSCF of gas daily from the producing platforms to onshore processing facilities.
The FAMP has been developed for BP Pipeline assets to ensure proper working of the high volume systems by organizing and delegating between operators, facilities, laboratories and onshore offices. By facilitating the review of system performance and operation, this information provides the basis of a continuous improvement approach.
Pipeline management is made possible from shore by real-time online monitoring of flow parameters. GATE has worked closely with BP to develop a progressive and ongoing sampling and surveillance strategy.
GATE aids BP Pipeline in monitoring the flow through pipelines and in supporting the optimization and maintenance of a very complex transport infrastructure system. This includes aspects such as:
Crude Quality Internal Corrosion Control Chemical Usage and Chemical Optimization Strategies Preventing Solid and Hydrate Formation Maintenance Pigging Plans and Lost Pig Retrieval Strategies Asset Integrity
Chevron – Materials and Corrosion Support
As part of the scope of work, GATE was commissioned to develop two comprehensive, user-friendly screening tools to guide subsea flowline materials selection decisions for wet gas and waterflood during concept selection and design using field specific data.
The tool serves not only for material selection, but also as training for junior engineers demonstrating what goes into making accurate material selections from a systems approach (does not just consider the immediate impact of the material, but how it will impact the entire production facility).
The tool was designed with GATE’s systems approach thinking to consider waterflood and wet gas material selection not just locally, but also on its impact on the entire production including potential upsets to other areas that may not be considered by a materials expert. It includes corrosion and chemical to combat integrity issues, material availability and time to acquire material (purchasing department), lay method (installation), CAPEX and OPEX (accounting), available technology and its limits along with detailed engineering calculations to determine optimum sizing based on known parameters.
Shell – Rocky Umbilical Post-Mortem
GATE undertook an investigation into recovered, decommissioned equipment to determine both the cause of failure and investigate integrity of components that may not have failed. This information has proven invaluable to operators who can base the performance of other equipment of a similar type and construction in a similar environment. This was significant as the recovered materials ranged from the mud-line, to sea surface and topsides.
The investigation included: A materials integrity assessment of all recovered components, a materials integrity assessment of the condition of the structural mid-line and end terminations, noting any influence of exposure in the vicinity of the exposure, comparison of the respective degree of degradation for those sections deployed in atmospheric conditions, seawater and seabed zones, and laboratory test to identify the compositions any peculiar materials present.
GATE was also a part of an effort to determine the performance of cathodic protection on subsea equipment. The investigation also looked at other forms of corrosion protection used on different parts of other decommissioned subsea equipment. This investigation was able to not only determine but also quantify the benefits offered by cathodic protection through a comparison of the areas that were protected by the cathode to those that were electrically isolated form the cathode and did not benefit form cathodic protection.
Shell EPP Support – Cathodic Protection Design
GATE provides Shell with cathodic protection design support for all their subsea projects. This includes coating selection (anti-corrosion and flow assurance) and qualification, which also involves interfacing with the coating yard. An important aspect of this operation is carrying out comprehensive quality audits of anode foundries and coating plants around the world.
GATE specializes in performing detailed anode design and anode placement during installation for all subsea equipment (bracelet anodes and stand-off/flush mounted anodes).
GATE also supports CP system monitoring once the flowlines/pipelines have been installed and designs retrofit CP solutions to enable design life extensions of existing facilities.
Williams Pipeline – Tahiti Gas Export Line
GATE determined the risks and mitigation of risk associated with wet parking and flooding of a gas export pipeline with unfiltered seawater. The key concerns are corrosion due to microbes, oxygen corrosion, and drying to prevent hydrate formation when the pipe goes into service.
Three options were presented to the client based on industry experience, available technology, and system parameters with associated risks and limitations of each.
Kerr McGee – Red Hawk Sand Management Program
GATE undertook erosion and corrosion modeling in the flowline to develop sand production allowance and an erosion corrosion risk assessment. From this, a maximum rate of gas production that will allow the asset to maintain it design life was determined. This enabled the operator to safely increase production by 25% to without additional risk to the asset thereby increasing the Net Present Value of the asset.
GATE developed a sand management plan which include alarm response sequence, solids analysis sequence, operator training, roles and responsibilities, action item summary and key performance indicators be implemented in the event of sand production.
The system included all the equipment necessary to implement a progressive sand detection, monitoring, sampling and analysis strategy on the platform.
Operators were given a corrosion/erosion overview and were trained in sand equipment operation, sampling and analysis procedures, and alarm response to minimize upsets due to false alarms.