The impact of corrosion on the oil industry has been viewed in terms of its effect on both capital and operational expenditures (CAPEX and OPEX) and health, safety and the environment (HSE). To fight against the high cost and the impact of corrosion within the oil industry, an overview of topical research and engineering activities is presented. This covers corrosion and metallurgy issues related to drilling, production, transportation and refinery activities.


The wide-ranging environmental conditions prevailing in the oil and gas industry necessitates the appropriate and cost effective materials choice and corrosion control measures. The implementation of these measures are becoming increasingly important as the impact of corrosion on safety, economy and the environment takes up more challenging roles. Furthermore, production conditions tend to become more corrosive hence requiring a more stringent corrosion management strategy.

Corrosion related failures constitute over 25% of failures experienced in the oil and gas industry. More than half of these failures are associated with sweet (CO2) and sour (H2S) producing fluids. An analysis of failures ascertained during the 1980s in a very limited industry wide survey, showed the degree of damage caused by corrosion and other types of materials degradation1. An overview of these figures are given in Tables 1 and 2. These figures, to a lesser or greater extent, are equally applicable to the petroleum industry wide activities. It is apparent that corrosion imposes a significant cost penalty on the choice of material at the design stage and its possible occurrence also has serious safety and environmental implications.

Corrosion has a wide ranging implications on the integrity of materials used in the petroleum industry. Examples of these ranging from drilling, production, transportation and refinery are given in this paper - the examples are by no means exhaustive and Implications of corrosion causing other forms of degradation such as those related with welding are not covered.

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