Biulfite-based oxygen scavengers (OS) have been traditionally used in oilfields to reduce corrosion resulting from dissolved oxygen. Recent experience with a leakage in OS-A oxygen scavenger injection system has shown that the same production chemicals in neat form can cause corrosion themselves, specifically – crevice corrosion.

In this paper a tendency of three bisulfite-based oxygen scavengers to initiate crevice corrosion on 316 stainless steel (316 SS) was evaluated by means of long-term exposure tests and short-term electrochemical techniques; cyclic potentiodynamic polarization (CPP) and Tsujikawa–Hisamatsu electrochemical method (THE). The testing was performed at ambient temperature and pressure to mimic the topside injection system conditions. The tested oxygen scavengers differed in bisulfite concentration (OS-A, 341 g/L; OS-B, 328 g/L; OS-C, 750 g/L) and pH (pH 3, 6 and 5, respectively). Two 316 SS coupons were attached together using elastomer O-rings to simulate steel-to-steel crevice between. The surface of the coupons was examined at 50x magnification after the test termination.

The results presented herein showed that 30-day long exposure tests were not long or aggressive enough to provide information about the corrosivity of the chemicals in terms of crevice corrosion. Instead, the combination of short-term electrochemical techniques proved to be useful in explaining a possible cause of the leakage in OS-A injection system and allowed ranking of the products based on their tendency to initiate localized corrosion.

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