In 1968 the average production of crude oil in California was about one million barrels per day, of which 227,000 b/d or 22% was produced offshore. By comparison the California crude oil offshore production was only 77,000 b/d in 1958. The California offshore oil industry has therefore seen a threefold increase during this ten-year period. For the year 1968 the average daily Alaska production was 181,000 b/d of which 143,000 b/d or 79% was produced offshore. From these figures it is obvious that oil produced on State and Federal OCS leases is becoming an increasingly produced on State and Federal OCS leases is becoming an increasingly important source of domestic crude oil.
To produce this oil, steel production platforms having room for up to 48 wells, living facilities for about 100 men and costing between $15,000,000 and $21,000,000 are being built. In many cases these platforms will be required to last twenty years. The only way that steel can survive for this length of time in a marine environment is to utilize all the technological knowledge that is available in the field of corrosion control.
In Cook Inlet, as in other offshore areas, cathodic protection is used to control corrosion. However, in Cook Inlet the corrosion engineer's job is made more difficult by unusually high tidal velocities and drifting ice. This paper will discuss problems encountered by Union Oil Company engineers in protecting the Monopod and Grayling platforms in Cook Inlet.