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IBP 1475_19



Jéssica O. Silva1, Maria C. F. C. Miranda2, Renata

E. B. Fontes3, Rodrigo G. Silva4

Copyright 2019, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP

This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Pipeline Conference and Exhibition 2019,
held between 03 and 05 of September, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation
by the Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted
by the author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material
as it is presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion,
or that of its Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the
Rio Pipeline Conference and Exhibition 2019.


Corrosion is a major cause of failures in equipment and piping of oil production platforms.
These failures hinder the process, delay the operational schedule of production, generate
high maintenance costs, and generate risks to human health and the environment. Due to
the fact that most of the equipment, pipelines and ducts of the production platforms are
made of steel (in general, carbon steel), the oil exploration industry will always be living
with the corrosive processes. The present work aims to highlight the causes and effects
in oil pipes, as well as to evaluate the possible causes in this scenario.

Keywords: Pipelines; Corrosion; Materials; Oil.


In the petroleum industry there are several factors that lead companies to invest
heavily in the exploration of wells. Usually in the areas of interest, where the oil is stored
in the form of gas / oil, it is necessary to use the drilling process which includes the use
of special tools together with the fluid with special properties, known as the Probe
Drilling. This fluid is present throughout the drilling process, in which it performs
numerous functions that contribute greatly in the process of oil extraction (FRAUCHES,

Verifying the equipments used in the petroleum exploration process shows that it
undergoes several factors of wear, whether physical or chemical. A corrosion factor in
the very present chemical area is corrosion. In order for the safe production of oil and gas
to occur, there must be control of the corrosive processes of the constituent materials of
the production facilities. All the care is necessary, since there are great risks with respect
to the integrity of the people, to the contamination of the environment and to cause
financial damages and of image to the company, making the management of the corrosion
Chemical Engineer -COMPANY A
Petroleum Engineer – COMPANY B
Petroleum Engineer – COMPANY C
Student., Electrical Engineering – COMPANY D
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point capital within the properties, of the reliability of equipment and used facilities in
offshore oil and gas production (FRAUCHES, 2013).

Several factors influence both the corrosion rates in the system and the type of
corrosion inhibition to be used at each point in the production system, namely: production
fluid temperature, system pressure, partial pressure of carbon dioxide, water quantity,
liquid velocity, the amount of liquid hydrocarbons, liquid hydrocarbon composition,
hydrocarbon velocity, flow rate, wall shear stress. The higher the partial pressure of
carbon dioxide in the system, the more acidic the water in the system, making the medium
more corrosive. Corrosion due to carbon dioxide occurs when an electrolyte such as water
is present (GREGG et al., 2004).

2. Theoretical foundation

2.1 Pipelines

Pipelines are the preferred means of transport to supply both the refineries and the
large consumer centers. This pipeline network, which interconnects the various oil
producing regions, refineries, terminals and distribution bases, is supervised and
controlled by the Centro Nacional de Controle e Logística (CNCL), located at the
Company in Rio de Janeiro. (TRANSPETRO)

2.2 Corrosion

Corrosion consists of the deterioration of materials by the chemical or

electrochemical action of the medium, and may or may not be associated with mechanical
stresses. When considering the use of materials in the construction of equipment or
installations it is necessary that they resist the action of the corrosive medium, besides
having sufficient mechanical properties and adequate manufacturing characteristics.
"Corrosion can affect various types of materials, whether metallic, such as steels or
copper alloys, for example, or not, such as plastics, ceramics or concrete" (GENTIL,

It is present in metallic materials in general and, in particular, involved in various

industrial activities. The deterioration of these is caused by the physical-chemical
interaction between the material and the corrosive medium, where it causes great
problems in the most varied activities. One of the sectors that is most affected by
corrosion is the oil industry due to the influence of the constituents of the drilling fluids
and the production water.

To avoid the loss of materials of high industrial use, anticorrosive techniques are
used which include coatings, media modification techniques, cathodic and anodic
protection, and corrosion inhibitors such as the use of organic compounds. This article
describes, in general lines, the main techniques of anticorrosion protection, corrosion in
the petroleum industry and the anticorrosive agents used in the industrial environment.
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2.3 Classification of Corrosive Processes

Corrosive processes can be classified into two major groups, all of which include
deterioration by corrosion: Corrosion Electrochemical: This is the most common type of
corrosion, as it occurs with metals, usually in the presence of water. It can occur when
the metal is in contact with an electrolyte (conductive solution or ionic conductor that
surrounds anodic and cathodic areas at the same time), forming a pile of corrosion;
Chemical Corrosion: is the attack of some chemical agent directly on certain material,
which may or may not be a metal. It does not need the presence of water and there is no
electron transfer as in electrochemical corrosion (GENTIL, 2007).

2.4 Types of Internal Corrosion in Pipelines

The corrosion of pipelines is classified basically in external, cathodic and internal

corrosion. In the first case it happens in aerial means, sheltered, submerged or buried. In
the aerial medium the main corrosive agents are the intempéries and the UV-ray that is
considered extremely aggressive, mainly in marine environments. The sheltered
condition is less corrosive than the air because it is not in contact with UV rays and rains,
but it is still considered a condition of extreme attention to unprotected steel (TAE, 2015).

The submerged medium is a highly corrosive agent, being in direct contact with water,
earth and air, making a combination similar to a "swamp" and extremely dangerous to
steel. In the buried condition, the pipeline is totally exposed to soil bacterial actions and
its pH and the most aggravating of this condition is the difficulty to perform inspections
and / or interventions, and is therefore one of the most critical in terms of installation
(TAE, 2015).

2.5 Corrosive Means

A particular medium can be extremely aggressive, from the point of view of

corrosion, to one material and harmless to another. Here are some factors that influence
this process: Soils: Soils contain moisture, minerals and bacteria. Some soils also have
acidic or basic characteristics. The electrolyte consists mainly of water with dissolved
salts; Natural Waters (rivers, lakes and subsoil): these waters may contain mineral salts,
possibly acids or bases, industrial waste, bacterias (GENTIL, 2007).

The electrolyte is mainly composed of water with dissolved salts. The other
constituents can accelerate the corrosive process; Sea Water: these waters contain an
appreciable amount of salts. An analysis of sea water has on average the following
constituents in grams per liter of water: Sea water by virtue of the marked presence of
salts is an electrolyte par excellence. Other constituents with dissolved gases can
accelerate corrosive processes; Chemicals: Chemicals, in contact with water, moisture
and forming an electrolyte, may cause electrochemical corrosion. (GENTIL, 2007).

2.6 Care and maintenance

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According to the magazine TAE 2015, there are several methods to avoid metal
corrosion, and each one has a specific efficiency and a cost associated with it. The most
common method is liquid coatings and the base of powder resin, where resins are applied
to the surface of the metal, protecting it from various forms of corrosion. Each coating or
polymer has a different performance depending on its application. Due to the ease of
application both in the internal section and in the external section, this method is the most
common to avoid corrosion of pipelines.

The use of noble alloys is also an option, for example, the stainless steel. However,
its high cost of acquisition often makes projects unfeasible. In addition, cathodic
protection is a widely used method in extensive and buried lines, which will certainly be
close to electric transmission lines. "The monitoring of the tubes can be done through the
ultrasound test, where it is possible to check the metal loss at a certain point over a specific
period of time. It is clear that the pipeline operator must provide for this preventive
monitoring in its line ", concludes (TAE, 2015).

The TAE, 2015 states that there are currently rules that specify the types of coatings
for each application in your specific market. Petrobras, for example, adopts the company's
own standards in conjunction with API (American Petroleum Institute) standards. Brazil's
water companies often adopt AWWA standards (American Water Works Association).

3. Methodology

Bibliographical reviewes, with articles published in the last databases were

explored. The research was through bibliographic review, using the databases: Google
Scholar; area magazines and websites such as TRANSPETRO and TAE. The descriptors
used in the search will be: "petroleum pipelines" corrosion "," materials ", the descriptors
will be searched in DeCS.

It will be included articles with complete available texts in the Portuguese and
English languages and the year of publication, articles were used, researches in the
literature in order to enrich the research related to the proposed theme. The criteria used
for deletion will be articles in duplicate in the databases; theses, dissertations, comments,

4. Studies by some authors

According to GARCIA & SANTOS 2013, the safe production of oil and gas is
intrinsically linked to the control of the corrosive processes of the constituent materials
of the production facilities. The potential risk to the integrity of the people, to the
contamination of the environment and to cause financial and image damages to the
company, make the management of corrosion point capital within the portfolio of
priorities of the reliability of equipment and facilities used in offshore oil production and

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Corrosive processes have been responsible for high costs to replace the
equipment degraded by the action of the environment, as well as have already caused
numerous serious accidents due to the structural failure of equipment containing toxic
and explosive substances, which are typical of the oil and gas industry. The adequate
corrosion control is guaranteed by the sum of the benefits obtained by several factors,
among which the injection of corrosion inhibitors.

GENTIL, 2007 cites that when he was drilling in the high seas, noticed that there
were some factors that could be cause of equipment wear. One such factor is seawater
which is a uniform saline solution, consisting of sodium chloride and magnesium
dissolved in water. When present in a 0.5M solution of sodium chloride. The sodium
chloride solution at this concentration has a more aggressive corrosion peak on steel than
higher and lower concentrations.

THOMAS, 2004 has already reported that carbon steels and other low alloy steels
have short term corrosion rates of 5.12 in / yr when completely submerged in seawater.
In the long term (around 10 years) this rate is reduced. There are no significant variations
in corrosion rates due to the steelmaking method or small additions of alloying elements
such as copper or chromium.

Increasing the speed of water in general increases the rate of corrosion. For still
waters the corrosion rate for carbon steels is around 2.76 in / year, for periods of
immersion between five and ten years. For waters flowing at low speed the corrosion rate
for carbon steels is approximately 3.7 in / year. For higher speeds the rate reaches 14.97
in / yr. For steel with a small addition of copper, the rate in water with high speed is only
4.72 in / ano, which points to a favorable effect of copper (THOMAS, 2004).

ABNT 8550 steel or DIN 34CrAlNi7 is a pre-beneficiated steel for nitriding used
in the construction of multiphase pump rotors for oil exploration in deep ocean waters. In
this work samples of this steel were submitted to different thermal treatments (annealing
or quenching and tempering) that were nitrided to plasma, rectified for the removal of the
white layer and coated through the deposition of PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) films
of CrN or AlCrN (AGUIAR, 2014).

AMARAL 2011, studied the safety of different metal pipelines with corrosion
defects. It presented a probabilistic methodology for estimating the remaining life of a
duct in the presence of corrosion defects. The variables that influence reliability were
treated as random variables and were represented by statistical distributions. The
methodology used pipelines, it was verified that the reliability index of the duct decreases
with the longer exposure period, which is expected since it is a defect of active corrosion.
However, this is of great importance as it can aid in the determination and planning of
inspections and repairs in the defective duct.

The TAE 2015 site mentions that cathodic corrosion, in turn, occurs only in buried
pipes and is directly associated with high electrical resistivity of the soil and the electrical
installations in the vicinity of the pipe. Cathodic corrosion occurs through the presence
of electrical ions that react with the metal, resulting in corrosion. Finally, the internal
corrosion of pipelines occurs due to the characteristics of the fluid being transported.
Temperature, acid concentrations, suspended solids, and fluid velocity are the main
characteristics that can completely deteriorate the inner wall of the tubes. "Corrosion of a
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duct, if not identified in time, can rupture the pipeline at some point in its length and result
in line halt, operational losses and even death of operators or citizens, depending on the
location of installation of the pipe. For this reason the protection of these pipelines is a
subject of extreme importance in a project ".

5. Conclusions

In order to carry out a bibliographic research on the causes and effects of petroleum
pipelines, it has been concluded that corrosion is one of the main causes of failures in
equipment and pipelines of platforms, especially in oil production. Where these failures
undermine the process, delay the operational production schedule, generate high
maintenance costs, and generate serious risks to health and the environment, as it is a
common problem when working with pipes of a wide variety of materials . This
bibliographic research ends up showing the importance of more and more studies in the
area in order to inform about their related effects, preventing them through innovative
and effective methods.
Therefore, studies on the causes and effects of corrosion in oil pipelines are of great
importance and contribute in bibliographic reviews and related studies, where they seek
in simple and objective ways to reach a satisfactory cost-benefit readership.

6. References

AMARAL, Renata Siqueira. Análise de segurança de dutos com defeitos de corrosão

[manuscrito] /Renata Siqueira Amaral. - 2011.

AGUIAR MARTINS, Mateus. Avaliação do Comportamento Tribológico do Aço

ABNT 8550 Nitretado a Plasma e Revestido com CrN ou AlCrN por PVD Através
de Ensaios de Esclerometria Linear – 2014. 52f.


Echevarria, A. A corrosão e os agentes anticorrosivo. Revista Virtual de Química, Rio
de Janeiro, 20
dez. 2013. p.294-303.

GARCIA, L. P. & Santos, A. R. Aplicação de inibidores de corrosão na indústria de

Petróleo e Gás. Unisanta Science and Technology, 2013, 6, July Published Online 2013
Vol.2 No1

GENTIL, Vicente. Corrosão. 5º Ed. Rio de Janeiro: LTC, 2007.

Gilberto S. Grossl, Roberto D.Machado , Hsu Y. Shang, João E. Abdalla Fº CILAMCE
2013 XXXIV Iberian Latin-American Congress on Computational Methods in
Engineering Z.J.G.N Del Prado (Editor), ABMEC, Pirenópolis, GO, Brazil, November
10-13, 2013

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GREGG, M. R.; Ramachandran, S. Review of Corrosion Inhibitor Developments and

Testing for Offshore Oil and Gas Production Systems. NACE International Corrosion
Conference, 2004. Paper No.04422.

REVISTA TAE. Acessado em: 30/05/2019


e-oleodutos/oleodutos.html. Acessado em: 29/05/2019.

THOMAS, José Eduardo. Fundamentos de engenharia de petróleo. 2.ed. Rio de

Janeiro: Interciencia, 2004.