The February talk was given by George Winning, Technical Service Manager for Clariant Oil Services in Africa, a Fellow member of ICorr and London branch committee member. George explained in his presentation why the corrosion inhibitor injection systems are required, and reviewed typical systems and corrosion control options, both mechanical and chemical. This was an excellent talk which produced significant discussion amongst those attending.

Within oil and gas operations there is a need to maintain and optimise production through life. One of the most common options to achieve this is the use of water injection to maintain reservoir pressure. With the use of these systems comes issues regarding corrosion as the presence of oxygenated water, scale and microbial growth can lead to premature failure unless efficiently mitigated.

The above corrosion threats were outlined in the presentation, followed by discussion on how the various systems used, amongst seawater, aquifer water, river water and other systems such as PWRI and water and gas (WAG), determine the most suitable mitigation methods.

This led onto the need for the fit-for-purpose design of the system, the maintenance of any mitigation measure and the required monitoring to ensure safe and efficient operation.

This brought up a discussion on many subjects covered. These included microbial monitoring of the system and identification of the most reliable methods, which opened up a philosophical debate on whether any method is truly reliable and led to a conclusion that a number of methods, Serial dilutions, ATP, qPCR or even H2S monitoring should be used in conjunction with trend mapping to ensure the system is running at its optimum level. Other questions revolved around reliability of systems, particularly the deoxygenation system, with the conclusions that effective maintenance and monitoring of the system to identify problems at an early stage are imperative to allow changes to the operation to be made and the system optimised. It was also highlighted that water injection systems are regularly overlooked, as they are not seen as the sales point in oil and gas production, and leaks are not of high environmental concern. This is a mistake as these systems are the most important measure taken to maintain oil production in the secondary oil recovery phase of a project and overlooking these in the short term will affect the economics of the asset in the long term.

The talk was well received being described as ‘Master Class’ and well delivered with clear and relevant arguments made. It was closed with a vote of thanks and a presentation to the speaker.