Disturbed Flow and Flow-Accelerated Corrosion in Oil and Gas Production

[+] Author and Article Information
K. D. Efird

Enercor International, Inc., 9391 Grogan’s Mill Road, Suite A-6, The Woodlands, TX 77380

J. Energy Resour. Technol 120(1), 72-77 (Mar 01, 1998) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2795013 History: Received August 26, 1997; Revised December 01, 1997; Online November 06, 2007


The effect of fluid flow on corrosion of steel in oil and gas environments involves a complex interaction of physical and chemical parameters. The basic requirement for any corrosion to occur is the existence of liquid water contacting the pipe wall, which is primarily controlled by the flow regime. The effect of flow on corrosion, or flow-accelerated corrosion, is defined by the mass transfer and wall shear stress parameters existing in the water phase that contacts the pipe wall. While existing fluid flow equations for mass transfer and wall shear stress relate to equilibrium conditions, disturbed flow introduces nonequilibrium, steady-state conditions not addressed by these equations, and corrosion testing in equilibrium conditions cannot be effectively related to corrosion in disturbed flow. The problem in relating flow effects to corrosion is that steel corrosion failures in oil and gas environments are normally associated with disturbed flow conditions as a result of weld beads, pre-existing pits, bends, flanges, valves, tubing connections, etc. Steady-state mass transfer and wall shear stress relationships to steel corrosion and corrosion testing are required for their application to corrosion of steel under disturbed flow conditions. A procedure is described to relate the results of a corrosion test directly to corrosion in an operation system where disturbed flow conditions are expected, or must be considered.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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