The February talk was by Dr Bijan Kermani of KeyTech, on corrosion, the outlook, challenges and future of the discipline, particularly in regards to hydrocarbon production. Having briefly touched on the economics of corrosion in the oil and gas industry, Bijan went on to present an overview of the projected global energy mix over the next two to three decades, highlighting that there is an increasing global energy demand and that hydrocarbons will contribute the majority of this. He emphasised that technology continues to play a fundamental role for the hydrocarbon industry sector’s business success, reducing capital and operational expenditure, environmental, safety and reputational risk, and increasing reliability. He emphasised that innovative materials, corrosion and integrity management technologies play a significant role in supporting this. He argued that while significant progress has been made over the years in understanding the root causes of integrity management threats with advances in technology and expertise, there still remains major challenges.

The talk covered three themes including (i) a technology outlook in energy, (ii) corrosion and materials challenges facing hydrocarbon production industry sector, and finally (iii) what is required to move the corrosion and metallurgy discipline forward. In this, a brief reference was made to the corrosion discipline with respect to future priorities to attract a new generation of high calibre professionals. It was said that our contributions to all aspects of social, environmental, safety and security are clear and that the discipline has had significant achievements. The key achievement is the provision of public welfare; a ‘positive image’ rather than the reduction of failures which may convey a negative image of our discipline. By this change of focus we can attract even a better generation of young students.

Bijan concluded that the future is bright, although many challenges remain and there is a growing requirement for innovative solutions with timely implementation to achieve next level performance.