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Simplified protection

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Julie Holmquist, Cortec® Corporation, USA, considers corrosion control during pipeline construction and delays.

Simplified protection

Pipeline construction can take several years or more, especially if the project is delayed by problems with permitting, accidents, or environmental issues, to name a few. One NGL pipeline that was recently completed took five instead of three years to finish due to complications from a drilling mud fluid spill. The cost of any such delay is massive. For example, one pipeline development company claimed to have lost US$583 million in project value simply due to legal delays, with ROW maintenance costing close to US$20 or US$25 million per month. Yet another pipeline faced an increased price tag of US$1.1 billion at one point after regulatory delays and winter, environmental, and COVID-19 issues affected construction costs. In short, delays are both common and expensive.

One side effect of delays that can be avoided is the loss of asset value due to corrosion. Delays mean that assets sit outside for extended periods, often unprotected and exposed to the elements, at high risk of corrosion. Considering that capital costs of crude oil pipeline construction can be between US$500 000 and US$800 000 per mile, the stakes of losing assets to corrosion are high. However, delays or no delays, corrosion is always a threat to asset integrity and value during the pipeline construction period and thereafter. Fortunately, protection does not have to be complicated, as Cortec demonstrates by its vapour phase corrosion inhibitor technology and related strategies that offer corrosion inhibition through multiple stages of pipeline construction and unwelcome delays.

Pipeline segment protection

The most obvious place where corrosion protection is needed is inside pipeline segments. Although typically protected with a special coating on the outside, pipeline internals are often left bare and open to the environment. On the outside, weld ends are left uncoated and more susceptible to corrosion. Pipe segments sit outside in staging yards by the hundreds until they can be installed ...

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