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Corrosion Rate as Key Performance Indicator in the North Slope

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  • Infra-Tech Consulting LLC

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Corrosion management is the systematic application of policies, practices, and resources to control corrosion and provide reliable safeguards against unexpected failures and leaks that can jeopardize mechanical integrity, operation, health, safety and environment. This paper highlights the use of a single key performance indicator in tracking monitoring strategy, mitigation strategy, and pipeline integrity for aboveground pipelines in the North Slope.
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2 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE August 2013 NACE International, Vol. 52, No. 8
Corrosion
Rate as Key
Performance
Indicator in the
North Slope
OlagOke Olabisi, Corrpro Companies, Inc., Houston, Texas
Corrosion management is the systematic application
of policies, practices, and resources to control corrosion
and provide reliable safeguards against unexpected
failures and leaks that can jeopardize mechanical
integrity, operation, health, safety, and the
environment. is article highlights the use of a single
key performance indicator in tracking monitoring
strategy, mitigation strategy, and pipeline integrity
for aboveground pipelines in the North Slope.
I
nspection and monitoring are two
key processes that can detect the
onset of internal corrosion, external
corrosion, and stress corrosion crack-
ing (SCC). If external corrosion and SCC
are effectively controlled, internal corro-
sion monitoring, whether through elec-
tronic probes or coupons, is able to detect
corrosion signicantly quicker than in-
spection techniques. This “early detec-
tion” of the onset of corrosion enables a
quick response to the changing opera-
tional environment, and, when appropri-
ate, an increase in the quantity of treat-
ment chemicals applied to the process
uids to enhance corrosion protection.
Thus, internal corrosion monitoring
helps to minimize the extent of damage
to the base materials and maintain the
structural integrity of the production
systems. Early detection assists risk-criti-
cality assessment, helps ensure reliability
of production, and enables the avoidance
of losses from equipment replacement
and operational disruptions.
A key performance indicator (KPI) is
a key corrosion/erosion control metric
that can be used to measure the efciency
of the prevailing corrosion/erosion risk-
management strategy—namely, the inte-
gration of corrosion, erosion, process
monitoring, inspection, mitigation, envi-
ronmental control, and materials man-
agement. A KPI is a primary tool that can
be used to proactively control corrosion/
erosion from growing to a size that could
affect the structural integrity of compo-
nents. It helps the system remain sound
and capable of safely performing the tasks
for which it was designed, and keeps the
components compliant with applicable
regulations and standards governing de-
sign, operation, and maintenance. A KPI
provides a reliable alert system against
unexpected failures and leaks that could
jeopardize mechanical integrity; opera-
tion; and health, safety, and the environ-
ment (HSE).
NACE International, Vol. 52, No. 8 August 2013 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE 3
CHEMICAL TREATMENT
Corrosion in
Producing Operations
in the North Slope
The most important parameter in
Alaska’s North Slope is the harsh arctic
environment. A signicant percentage of
pipelines in the North Slope are held
above ground with specially designed
vertical support members (VSM) embed-
ded in the ground to support the above-
ground pipe in areas of thaw-unstable
permafrost. In areas where heat might
cause undesirable thawing of the perma-
frost, the supports contain heat pipes to
remove heat and keep the ground frozen.
Heat pipes contain anhydrous ammonia
(NH3), which vaporizes below ground,
rises, and condenses aboveground, re-
moving ground heat whenever the air
temperature is 5 to 10 degrees cooler than
the ground temperature at the base of the
heat pipe. Heat is transferred through the
walls of the heat pipes to aluminum ra-
diators on top of the pipes.
If external corrosion and SCC are ef-
fectively controlled, internal corrosion
becomes the dominant time-dependent
failure type when determining the overall
integrity of aboveground pipelines.1
Factors affecting internal corrosion/
erosion include a variety of variables,
such as:
Multiphase ow
Particles or sand
Water cut
High total pressure, which leads to
high hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and
carbon dioxide (CO2) partial pres-
sures
Condensation of water, which
causes unbuffered electrolyte pH
Conductivity
Mineral acid
Elemental sulfur
Brine chemistry
Oxygen concentration
Microbes
Flow velocity
TABLE 1
A selected list of corrosion/erosion control metrics
Metric Description Review Frequency
System Measures
Total number of spills Quarterly
Number of spills by cause Quarterly
Total number of leaks Quarterly
Total number of defects found before they become leaks Quarterly
Number of leaks by cause Quarterly
Leak awareness training/improvement sessions Annually
Coupon and Probe Corrosion/Erosion Rates(A)
Total number of locations with Grade A corrosion/erosion rate Quarterly
Total number of locations with Grade B corrosion/erosion rate Quarterly
Total number of locations with Grade C corrosion/erosion rate Quarterly
Total number of locations with Grade D corrosion/erosion rate Quarterly
Total number of locations with Grade F corrosion/erosion rate Quarterly
Fluid Sampling and Cleaning Pigging
Mileage of maintenance cleaning pigging Quarterly
Frequency of fluid for microbial analysis Quarterly
Frequency of fluid sampling for corrosion products
(dissolved or suspended)
Quarterly
Frequency of fluid sampling for corrosion solids Quarterly
Internal/External Corrosion Inspection
Percent of thickness measurement locations inspected Quarterly
Frequency of isolation flange inspections Quarterly
Frequency of cathodic protection survey Annually
Percent of weld packs inspected Quarterly
Recur frequency for corrosion under insulation Quarterly
Chemical Optimization Activities (Mitigation)
Inventory and upgrade of monitoring devices Quarterly
Inventory and upgrade of treatment chemical Quarterly
Adjustment frequency of treatment chemicals Quarterly
Verification & validation of treatment chemicals performance
(treatment results)
Quarterly
Qualification & validation of promising new treatment chemicals Quarterly
Repair or Replacement
Average repair indications per mile Annually
Average replacements indications per mile Annually
Number of repairs by cause Annually
Number of replacements by cause Annually
Leak/repair ratio Quarterly
(A)See Table 2 for definitions of letter grades.
In certain formations in the North
Slope, sand production with the pro-
duced uids can be as much as 2% by
volume and water production can be
>50%. Consequently, internal corrosion
and sand erosion usually go hand in hand.
Controlling internal corrosion/erosion
entails monitoring in combination with
appropriate and timely mitigation.
The corrosion/erosion control imple-
4 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE August 2013 NACE International, Vol. 52, No. 8
CHEMICAL TREATMENT Corrosion Rate as Key Performance Indicator in the North Slope
mentation normally commences from the
beginning of operation with subsequent
feedback of operational data into the
company integrity management system.
Proper implementation requires the cor-
rect execution of monitoring, inspection,
and mitigation strategies to ensure that
the facility remains t for purpose. Ex-
amples of vital activities include corrosion
rate monitoring, process monitoring, in-
spection, data collection, analyses, report-
ing, and corrective action. In addition,
KPIs are used to track the efciency of
the prevailing corrosion/erosion risk-
management strategy, namely, the inte-
gration of corrosion, erosion, process
monitoring, inspection, mitigation, envi-
ronmental control, and materials man-
agement.1
Corrosion/Erosion
Control Metrics
Corrosion/erosion risk management
for an operation is the systematic applica-
tion of policies, practices, and resources
to control risk and provide reliable safe-
guards against unexpected failures and
leaks that can jeopardize mechanical
integrity, operation, and HSE. A corro-
sion/erosion control metric is a perfor-
mance measure that can be used to assess
the efciency of the prevailing corrosion/
erosion risk-management strategy. Table
1 presents selected list of corrosion/
erosion control metrics.
Corrosion Rate as
Corrosion Control Metric
According to NACE RP0775-2005,2
corrosion severity is classied in terms of
corrosion rates and an associated letter
grade system for both general corrosion
and pitting corrosion, as illustrated in
Table 2. The letter grade system, used by
several major oil companies to categorize
corrosion rates, was developed as a tool
for summarizing corrosion coupon re-
sults. Corrosion is ranked as A, B, C, D,
and F based on the amount of general
corrosion in mils per year (mpy) or
mm/y. “A” corresponds to the least
amount of wall loss and “F” corresponds
to the maximum permissible wall loss.
The letter grade system is widely used as
the management tool for reporting and
summarizing corrosion results. The sys-
tem makes it easier for engineers and
management to focus attention on prob-
lem areas. Corrosion severity therefore
constitutes an authentic corrosion control
metric; the concept is equally applicable
to erosion or erosion/corrosion.
In the evaluation of an individual
coupon, the general corrosion rate and
pitting corrosion rate are determined and
recorded along with the corresponding
letter grades. A coupon could receive an
“A” for general corrosion, but a “D” for
a deep but narrow pit (with minimal mass
loss). The overall rating of any individual
coupon corresponds to the worst (lower)
of the two grades for general and pitting
corrosion rate.
Corrosion/Erosion
Key Performance
Indicators
There are several corrosion/erosion
matrices. To qualify as a KPI, a metric
needs to be able to play a signicant role
in focusing attention on the corrosion/
erosion trends in the operating system so
decision-making is enabled and the neces-
sary planning for targeting the required
corrosion/erosion mitigating measures
can be implemented. This enables the
organization to operate with greater ef-
ciency, reliability, and control of pro-
duction and avoid losses from equipment
replacement and operational disruptions.
Table 3 depicts ve KPIs as well as the
corresponding compliance target values
normally used in North Slope operations.
A paper presented in 2012 discusses the
use of corrosion rate, measured with cor-
rosion coupons, that constituted the pri-
mary KPI for a producing operation.4 This
lone KPI was used in tracking the monitor-
ing strategy, mitigation strategy, and
pipeline integrity. It is an example that
underscores a typical corrosion manage-
ment strategy that enables a facility to re-
main t for purpose during its design life.
Field Data
Presented here are the actual eld data
from the North Slope that are analyzed
using a single KPI; namely, corrosion
rates measured with weight loss corrosion
coupons.4 The weight loss corrosion cou-
pons were installed inside six pipelines
and periodic corrosion measurements
were recorded for 616 days. The eld
data were used to calculate corrosion
rates for the six pipelines. Table 4 pres-
ents the calculated data and Figure 1 il-
lustrates the corrosion rate as a function
of time overlaid with the target compli-
ance level.
When interpreted in terms of the cor-
rosion severity classification given in
TABLE 2
Classification of general and pitting corrosion rates(A)
General Corrosion Pitting Corrosion
Low <1.0 mpy Low <5.0 mpy
Moderate 1.0 to 4.9 mpy Moderate 5.0 to 7.9 mpy
High 5.0 to 10.0 mpy High 8.0 to 15.0 mpy
Severe >10.0 mpy Severe >15 mpy
Associated Letter Grade System
Grade General Corrosion (mpy) Pitting Corrosion (mpy)
A0.0 to <1.0 0.0 to <2.0
B1.0 to <2.0 2.0 to <5.0
C2.0 to <5.0 5.0 to <10.0
D5.0 to <10.0 10.0 to <25.0
F>10.0 >25.0
(A)1 mpy = 0.0254 mm/y
NACE International, Vol. 52, No. 8 August 2013 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE 5
CHEMICAL TREATMENT
Table 2 with its associated letter grade
system, the data suggest that Pipelines 1,
2, 4, and 5 are in the Grade A category
throughout the period of corrosion rate
measurements. On the other hand, Pipe-
lines 3 and 6 fall in the Grade A, C, D,
and F categories during the period of
corrosion rate measurement.
Selection of Corrosion
Rate as a Key
Performance Indicator
Internal corrosion is the predominant
type of time-dependent failure for above-
ground pipelines once external corrosion
and SCC are effectively controlled. Be-
cause of its crucial role, the internal cor-
rosion becomes the preeminent time-
dependent failure type1 in determining
the overall pipeline integrity. On account
of such crucial role, internal corrosion
rate is chosen as the single most impor-
tant parameter and used as a KPI. This
selection is hinged on the following key
assumptions:
Coupon corrosion is a viable
surrogate for pipeline internal
corrosion.
Internal corrosion information ob-
tained from corrosion coupons is
representative of the entire pipe-
line’s internal environment.
For the aboveground pipelines un-
der consideration, external corro-
sion and SCC are effectively con-
trolled and internal corrosion will
affect the overall integrity of the
pipeline.
When rating pipeline conditions based
on coupon results, it should be under-
stood that the information obtained from
corrosion coupons is site-specic and may
TABLE 3
Corrosion/erosion KPI
Performance Measure System Compliance Target Value
1Corrosion coupons/ER probes for general corrosion All locations of probes/coupons 2.0 mpy (0.0508 mm/y)
2Corrosion coupons for pitting corrosion All locations of coupons 5.0 mpy (0.127 mm/y)
3Sand probes/erosion coupons All locations of probes/coupons 5.0 mpy (0.127 mm/y)
4Cumulative thickness loss Pipelines Corrosion allowance
5Treatment chemical residual Pipelines Manufacturer’s recommendation
TABLE 4
Corrosion rate (CR) in mpy of pipelines (P/L) as a function of time
Time (Days) CR for P/L #1 CR for P/L #2 CR for P/L #3 CR for P/L #4 CR for P/L #5 CR for P/L #6
142 0.03 0.01 0.16 0.02 0.02 9.45
246 0.12 0.08 3.07 0.05 0.11 5.68
333 0.22 0.06 8.44 0.04 0.09 5.14
443 0.06 0.05 34.13 0.02 0.07 5.76
504 0.04 0.03 22.57 0.02 0.02 22.64
616 0.03 0.13 73.51 0.00 0.05 6.27
(A)1 mpy = 0.0254 mm/y
Internal corrosion rate as a function of time overlaid with compliance level.
FIGURE 1
6 MATERIALS PERFORMANCE August 2013 NACE International, Vol. 52, No. 8
CHEMICAL TREATMENT Corrosion Rate as Key Performance Indicator in the North Slope
not be representative of the entire pipe-
line environment. Given the above con-
siderations, the internal corrosion rate
was selected as the lone KPI for tracking
the monitoring strategy, mitigation strat-
egy, and pipeline integrity.4
Use of Selected Key
Performance Indicator to
Track Remaining Life
The remaining life of a pipeline af-
fected by internal corrosion is critical and
must be tracked by any operating com-
pany. By denition, the remaining life is
the time it takes for the most severe re-
maining corrosion anomaly to grow to
leakage or failure. If no corrosion defects
are found, the remaining life can be taken
as the design life for a new pipeline. If
corrosion defects are found, the maxi-
mum remaining aw size can be taken as
the same as the most severe indication.
The growth rate used for calculating re-
maining life should be based on the actual
corrosion rate data applicable for the
particular pipeline.
For example, if a company has oper-
ated a pipeline for about ve years (1,825
days) and the pipeline has a design life of
20 years, the remaining life can be taken
as 20 years if no corrosion defects are
found. For the six pipelines with available
corrosion rate data, presented in Table
5, the remaining life projections are esti-
mated based on the cumulative thickness
loss of a series of corrosion coupons
placed at specic locations for the cumu-
lative duration of 616 days.
Conclusions
This article demonstrates the many
attributes of internal corrosion rate mea-
sured with weight loss coupons as a KPI
for aboveground pipelines where external
corrosion and SCC are effectively con-
trolled. Internal corrosion rate:
Is the key corrosion-control metric
that could proactively control cor-
rosion from growing to a size that
could affect the structural integrity
of pipelines.
Can be used to track the remaining
life of a pipe.
Provides a measure of efciency of
the prevailing corrosion risk man-
agement strategy.
Enables the integration of corrosion,
erosion, process monitoring, inspec-
tion, mitigation, environmental
control, and materials management.
Provides a reliable alert system
against unexpected failures and
leaks that could be occasioned by
corrosion/erosion, which could
jeopardize mechanical integrity,
operation, and HSE.
Can be used to drive changes in
mitigation action
Acknowledgment
This article is based on an ongoing
project, the support of which is hereby
acknowledged.
References
1 ASME B31.8S-2004, “Managing System
Integrity of Gas Pipelines” (New York,
NY: ASME, 2004).
2 NACE Standard RP0775-2005,
“Preparation, Installation, Analysis, and
Interpretation of Corrosion Coupons in
Oileld Operations” (Houston, TX:
NACE International, 2005).
3 A. Morshed, “Improving Asset
Corrosion Management Using KPIs,”
MP 47, 5 (2008).
4 O. Olabisi, “Corrosion/Erosion Man-
agement Strategy in the North Slope:
Use of Corrosion Rate as Key Perfor-
mance Indicator (KPI),” CORROSION
2012, paper no. 01180 (Houston, TX:
NACE, 2012).
OLAGOKE OLABISI is the director of internal
corrosion engineering at Corrpro Companies
International, Inc., 7000 Hollister, Bldg. B, Houston,
TX 77040, e-mail: oolabisi@corrpro.com. A
NACE-certified Chemical Treatment Specialist, he
is experienced in materials engineering, corrosion
control, root cause analysis, materials selection,
nonmetallic materials, cathodic protection,
specifications, and standards. He was the lead on
preparing the NACE course material for Pipeline
Corrosion Integrity Management (PCIM) and is
currently a course instructor. Olabisi worked in the
Consulting Services Department, Saudi Aramco;
R&D Department, Union Carbide Corp.; and Metals
and Ceramics Division, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory. He also had academic experience and
was a professor, department head, and dean of
engineering at various universities prior to joining
Corrpro. He has a B.S. in chemical engineering from
Purdue University (1969), M.S. degree in chemical
engineering from the University of California at
Berkeley (1971), and a Ph.D. in macromolecular
engineering and science from Cast Western
Reserve University (1973). He received the U.S.
Chapter of NSChE’s Outstanding Achievement
Award for Sustained Contributions in Chemical
Engineering in 2007 and has authored numerous
articles and three books. He has been a member of
NACE International since 1964.
TABLE 5
Projected remaining life of pipelines(A)
Pipeline
Nominal
Thickness
Corrosion
Allowance
Cumulative
Coupon
Thickness
Loss
Estimated
Pipeline
Thickness Loss
in 5 Years
Projected
Remaining
Life (years)
10.594 in
(15.09 mm)
0.125 in
(3.18 mm)
0.0001 in
(0.0025 mm)
0.00015 in
(0.00381 mm)
19.99
20.337 in
(8.56 mm)
0.125 in
(3.18 mm)
0.0001 in
(0.0025 mm)
0.00015 in
(0.00381 mm)
19.99
30.50 in
(12.7 mm)
0.125 in
(3.18 mm)
0.0396 in
(1.0058 mm)
0.05865 in
(1.48971 mm)
17.65
40.562 in
(14.275 mm)
0.050 in
(1.27 mm)
0.00 in
(0.00 mm)
0.00 in
(0.00 mm)
20.00
50.322 in
(8.179 mm)
0.0625 in
(1.5875 mm)
0.0001 in
(1.0025 mm)
0.00015 in
(0.00381 mm)
19.99
60.237 in
(6.02 mm)
0.0625 in
(1.5875 mm)
0.014 in
(0.3556 mm)
0.0206 in
(0.52324 mm)
18.26
(A)Protected remaining life based on cumulative thickness loss of corrosion coupons.
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Preparation, Installation, Analysis, and Interpretation of Corrosion Coupons in Oilfield Operations
  • Nace Standard
NACE Standard RP0775-2005, "Preparation, Installation, Analysis, and Interpretation of Corrosion Coupons in Oilfield Operations" (Houston, TX: NACE International, 2005).
He also had academic experience and was a professor, department head, and dean of engineering at various universities prior to joining Corrpro
R&D Department, Union Carbide Corp.; and Metals and Ceramics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also had academic experience and was a professor, department head, and dean of engineering at various universities prior to joining Corrpro. He has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Purdue University (1969), M.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley (1971), and a Ph.D. in macromolecular engineering and science from Cast Western Reserve University (1973). based on cumulative thickness loss of corrosion coupons.