Abstract

CO2 corrosion prediction models predict a general corrosion rate, but field failures are due to localised CO2 corrosion. That is why predicted corrosion rates are correlated to a corrosivity level. These models generally consider that the corrosion rate remains, after the initiation period, unchanged as long as operating and/or production parameters remain unchanged. However, 25 years of field experience and also some recent research results confirmed that after an initial phase of high corrosion rates, the CO2 corrosion rates may significantly decrease with time forming flat-bottom large corrosion features (mesa corrosion) and stabilise. Depending on the corrosivity level the time needed for the stabilisation would be up to about 12 months. To be noted that the stabilization has been known since 2003-2004. It was first used in 2005 for the development of two gas fields with success. In 2008, it was used for the prediction of the remaining life of gas pipelines transporting very corrosive wet gas. The use of costly CRA / cladded pipes was avoided. Gunaltun Y. and call. made the first publication about the importance of the stabilization on the remaining pipeline service life in 2009. Then, possible mechanisms of stabilization were published by Gunaltun Y. in 2012 and Gunaltun Y. and call. 2013. In the present paper the field experience, the research results and the mechanisms leading to stabilisation are discussed in detail and summarised. The main driving force is the galvanic action between anodic and cathodic zones. The clustering of corrosion features completes the process of stabilisation. Re-initiation of corrosion, after stabilisation, has not been observed neither in the laboratory nor in field. The reasons why stabilisation is a non-reversible process are also explained in detail. The conclusions are integrated in the general understanding of CO2 corrosion mechanism. Then a new method is proposed to complete the corrosion prediction approaches used by the industry. Even though some research is still needed to validate the impact of some parameters involved in the stabilisation process, the stabilisation concept is now mature enough for including it in the prediction models. It is very likely that stabilisation is one of the missing links in CO2 corrosion prediction chain.

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