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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Industrial Coatings Solutions

The Next Generation of Coatings for the Oil and Gas Industry The Rise in Demand for More Effective Coatings Technology The Growing Threat of Corrosion to Oil and Gas Exploration Lighter, Stronger, and Cheaper: the Next Generation of Coatings Sponsored by

Going Deeper – The New Frontier of Oil and Gas

Published by Global Business Media


New Xylar® MMA + topcoat protects against corrosion 4 times longer than zinc phosphate + topcoat!

Xylar MMA coating on your fasteners: • • • • • • • •

resists corrosion surpasses 6000 salt spray hours is chrome-free complies with RoHS directive does not require burnishing has thin-film coating <0.5 mil is easy to apply Xylar + Xylan: a winning combination

Where good ideas come to the surface sales@whitfordww.com • ©Whitford 2014


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Industrial Coatings Solutions

Contents Foreword

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Tom Cropper, Editor The Next Generation of Coatings for the Oil and Gas Industry The Rise in Demand for More Effective Coatings Technology The Growing Threat of Corrosion to Oil and Gas Exploration Lighter, Stronger, and Cheaper: the Next Generation of Coatings Going Deeper – The New Frontier of Oil and Gas

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Tom Cropper

The Next Generation of Coatings for the Oil and Gas Industry A New Technology Xylar MMA Are You Getting What You Expect? The QAC Program Xylan Coating Series Technology

The Rise in Demand for More Effective Coatings Technology Rapid Growth in Coatings Development of Corrosion Prevention Conclusion

The Growing Threat of Corrosion to Oil and Gas Exploration

Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

Hostile Expansion

An Aging Problem Addressing the Challenges

Lighter, Stronger, and Cheaper: the Next Generation of Coatings

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Jo Roth, Staff Writer

The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated.

The Need for Change

Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Monitoring

© 2014. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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James Gooding, Staff Writer

The Growing Threat of Corrosion

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

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Tom Cropper, Editor

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks

Production Manager Paul Davies

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Whitford Corporation

Flow Additives Deep Water Exploration Conclusion

Going Deeper – The New Frontier of Oil and Gas

14

Tom Cropper, Editor

Growing Demand New Materials Conclusion

References 16

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

Foreword O

N DECEMBER 17th in 2013, a sea line at an oil

The first challenge lies in detection and the question

refinery in the Gulf of Paria fractured spilling

of whether existing practices and technologies are

tons of oil into the ocean in what is the largest oil

up to scratch. Therefore, many companies are

disaster ever to affect the area. The cause was

investing significant sums into developing new fault-

attributed to corrosion in the lines and inadequate

detection systems that can monitor the condition

safety precautions.

of pipe walls, predict decay rates and ensure

Since that day further defects in the line have led to further, smaller spills, heightening concern about the safety of aging equipment on rigs in the region.

problems are identified early. Age is a major and growing issue. A significant proportion of oil and gas rigs have lived well beyond

The opening article in this Special Report looks at

their original service life. With many having been

the result of research and development carried out

created using outdated materials and methods which

by Whitford Corporation to produce a pretreatment/

no longer comply with modern safety standards,

primer that could deliver superior corrosion resistance.

protecting and repairing these aging platforms is vital

Whitford’s Xylan® coatings have set the standard for

to prevent further accidents.

fastener coatings specified throughout the oil and gas

Existing oil reserves have a finite lifespan, but

industry for years. The new technology combines a

demand for oil shows no sign of abating. To meet this

radically new primer (the Xylar® MMA) with a Xylan

requirement, companies must explore new and more

fluoropolymer topcoat. Xylar MMA provides numerous

challenging sources which place an unprecedented

benefits for the applicator, the OEM and the end-user,

strain of equipment and infrastructure. Because much

which are described in the article.

of this exists at depths never before explored, there

The Gulf of Paria incident is not isolated. A major leak in Total’s Elgin platform in the North Sea led to

remains considerable uncertainty about the risks they might encounter.

Shell’s Shearwater platform also being evacuated as

In order to address these issues, the industry is

concerns grew about the corrosive effects of drilling

investing considerable resources into the research

fluid on the interiors of pipes.

and development of new, more effective anti-corrosion

These incidents, and others like them, illustrate

systems. This report will look in depth at some of the

some of the current challenges facing the oil and

challenges facing the industry as well as the more

gas industry. A significant proportion of oil and gas

innovative approaches being used to meet them.

rigs currently in operation have lived far beyond their originally intended service life. Equally, as many of these existing reserves run low, the industry needs to explore newer sources which are often to be found at unprecedented depths. These issues create multiple challenges for the industry.

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

2 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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The Next Generation of Coatings for The Oil and Gas Industry Whitford Corporation New fastener coating provides 4 times the corrosion protection of typical zinc-phosphate pretreatments!

A new coating, called “Xylar® MMA”, was just introduced at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2014. The breakthrough was launched by Whitford, the well-known manufacturers of Xylan® coatings that have set the standard for fastener coatings specified throughout the oil and gas industry for years. In combination with a Xylan topcoat, the coating provides greater corrosion resistance with controlled make-up torque.

LARGE LAB

A New Technology Research and development were conducted simultaneously at three of Whitford’s laboratories (Elverson, PA, Runcorn, UK, and Singapore) to produce a pretreatment/primer that could deliver superior corrosion resistance. This collaboration led to technology that combines a

radically new primer (the Xylar MMA) with a Xylan fluoropolymer topcoat. Xylar MMA, engineered for metallic substrates, is a high-performance, solvent-borne sprayapplied coating with excellent thin-film formation. Typical DFT of MMA films range from 6 -12µm (~0.25mils) recommended. Feedback from field trials has been extremely positive, noting among other things that MMA is “an easy-to-apply coating” that does not require additional, upgrades or modifications to standard spray equipment. Xylar MMA has a low cure temperature (30 minutes @ 480˚F/250˚C). Unlike phosphating, the Xylar MMA primer does not have to be top-coated immediately, which facilitates part and project management at the applicator level. Its thin-film performance helps eliminate the need to over-tap nuts. MMA does not require post-burnishing of the parts, eliminating a time-consuming and costly processing step associated with cermet coatings.

Xylan MMA General Film Properties, Typical Dry Film Thickness

6 -12µm recommended

MEK Resistance

Excellent; Slight colour transfer, no softness

Gloss, 60

Low, 8 +_ 3 units – dependent upon surface pretreatment

Cure Schedule

480oF (250oC for 30 minutes)

o

Xylar® primer with Xylan® topcoat now protects fasteners from corrosion 4 times longer than zinc phospate! Xylar + Xylan

A winning combination

Where good ideas come to the surface whitfordww.com

TABLE 1

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

MMA does not require post-burnishing of the parts, eliminating a time-consuming and costly processing step associated with cermet coatings

With increasing environmental pressures, operators and service companies have been working to introduce more environmentally friendly products. MMA, which is chrome-free and RoHS compliant, reduces the environmental costs for applicators.

Xylar MMA Xylar MMA is a silver-gray, spray-applied mixedmetal alloy (MMA) silicate primer. It is compatible with the Xylan 1000 and 1400 series. When placed under salt spray test (ASTM B-117), Xylar MMA delivers superior corrosion performance (by as much as four times) when compared to commonly used alternative systems. Based on initial applicator and industry feedback, new Xylar MMA provides numerous benefits for the applicator, the OEM and the end user.

CHART 1

• Provides excellent corrosion protection and film properties – Surpassing 5500 hours salt-spray testing with <15% RR for longer service-life •  Easy spray application – Allows approved coaters to apply the system with minimal to no equipment changes • Thin-film coating system <0.5mil (<12µm) – Economical applied cost • Does not require burnishing usually associated with cermet coatings – Lower cost and turnaround times • Chrome-free system – Reduced risk of hydrogen embrittlement – Reduced environmental impact and cost • RoHS directive compliant – Meeting heavy metal environmental regulations 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

The topcoat of Xylan complements the performance of MMA by providing a thin-film, dry lubricant coating with unsurpassed nonstick characteristics and controlled lubricity. This coating system delivers additional levels of performance: it extends service-life, lowers operational costs, complies with current environmental regulations, as well as providing greater safety and reliability that are key to minimizing financial risks of Oil and Gas operations. Xylan® fluoropolymer coatings from Whitford have been delivering industry-leading torque and corrosion solutions since 1969. However, not all fluoropolymer coatings are formulated or perform similarly. Specifying the correct coating for your application and selecting the right supplier are the most important steps in sourcing coated fasteners in the Oil and Gas industry. This is critical to achieve proper performance, extend service-life, reduce downtime, improve safety and reliability, and minimize operational and financial risks. Fluoropolymer coatings have the lowest coefficient of friction of all known fastener coatings. Developed as a thin-film lubricious coating to achieve uniform torque, Xylan coatings consistently deliver uniform torque values with a very narrow “torque scatter”. When comparing the relationship linking applied torque and clamp load, Xylan-coated fasteners show a dramatically lower scatter in torque values (Chart 2) vs the alternatives of hot-dipped galvanized and noncoated fasteners, as proven in field applications. Xylan-coated fasteners provide consistent, repeatable torque values for the chosen fastener size and type. Note: These coating systems reduce makeup torque, so it is essential to recalculate the amount required to achieve the ideal clamping load and adjust the makeup torque specifications to compensate. Whitford recommends a direct-tension (load cell) study be completed for every size and type of fastener. Alternatively, industry-accepted software packages, currently available in the market, can perform direct tension studies on multiple types and sizes of fasteners.

Are You Getting What You Expect? The industry has long faced the problem of inadequately specified fastener coatings, which opens the door to non-conforming coatings. Not all fluoropolymer coatings are formulated or perform similarly, so assuring your supplier is delivering what you specify is paramount to proper fastener performance. Not all blue fluoropolymer coatings are Xylan. That’s why Whitford maintains lot traceability of its products throughout its global production


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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CHART 2

facilities, and Xylan-approved coating facilities should be able to provide verifiable lot numbers and accompanying Product Data Sheets (PDS). Another common pitfall is improperly coated fasteners. To combat this problem, Whitford provides biannual training courses to educate and support coaters and specifiers. And Whitford offers outstanding technical service throughout the world.

via a Whitford or third-party laboratory. All agree to submit to random quality audits by Whitford. The QAC supports the efforts of operators, engineers, end-users, OEMs and coaters to ensure consistently high standards in the application of Xylan coatings. Whitford recognizes and understands the commitment coaters undertake in proper equipment set-up and application skills needed to produce high-quality Xylan-coated fasteners. These coaters continually invest in personnel and training, to ensure they have trained applicators that understand the coating process; from part handling and preparation, to coating application and testing.

Xylan Coating Series Technology

The QAC Program The industry lacked a way to assure maximum quality in fasteners. So in 2008, Whitford created the “Quality Approved Coater” (QAC) Program, consisting of a select number of coaters who had proven their capacity to provide coated fasteners that met a list of strict standards established by Whitford. A limited number of known applicators of Xylan® who had proven their ability to offer such quality were selected and invited to join. They are all held to specific standards. Example: Each member has to have certain application equipment, including a pretreatment system. Each has to send someone to a Whitford laboratory for formal training in the proper application of Xylan coatings. All have to submit coated samples for a variety of quality tests including appearance, dryfilm thickness, cure, Salt-Fog (ASTM B-117), etc.,

Xylan 1010 was the original fluoropolymer coating introduced in 1969 by Whitford. The Xylan 1000 series was expanded to provide better corrosion resistance and perform as a bearing surface when subjected to differing speeds, extreme pressures and environments. Since then, Whitford has developed new coating series and added new technology platforms to its already vast Xylan product line. Xylan 1000 Series: • Excellent adhesion to most substrates. • Good level of corrosion resistance. •T  emperature performance range from -230°C to +275°C (-382 to 527°F); intermittent use to 315°C (599°F). •A  pplication friendly with a broad curetemperature range.

Xylar® primer with Xylan® topcoat now protects fasteners from corrosion 4 times longer than zinc phospate! Xylar + Xylan

A winning combination

Where good ideas come to the surface whitfordww.com

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

Xylan® fluoropolymer coatings from Whitford have been delivering industryleading torque and

XYLAN

Additives

Series

Fluoropolymer

1010

Other

Lubricity

Recommended Performance

Speed

Pressure

PTFE

High

Low

General Purpose, good for smooth movement of parts, low friction at high speeds

1014

PTFE

Med

Low

Best for wear resistance, preferred for fasteners

1052

PTFE

Med

High

Contains secondary lubricant for high pressure performance, up to 150,000 Psi

1058

FEP

Med

Low

Best “release/nonstick” properties, especially when cured above 280C (536F)

1070

PTFE

Corrosion Inhibitor

High

Low

Contains corrosion inhibiting pigment to resist corrosion. Low friction at high speeds

4090

NONE

Various

N.A.

N.A.

Optional primers for 1000 Series; increases chemical barrier and corrosion resistance

MOS2

TABLE 2

corrosion solutions since 1969

Whitford R&D consistently addresses new challenges in environmental regulations. This resulted in the low-VOC Xylan 1420 series of industrial functional dry-film lubricant coatings that perform under severe conditions and provide improved corrosion and chemical resistance. Xylan 1420 outperforms Xylan 1000 Series in corrosion resistance in both the ASTM B-117 and Kesternich DIN 50018 testing. Xylan 1400 Series: • Excellent adhesion to many substrates. • High level of corrosion resistance. • Superior chemical resistance. •T  emperature performance from -40°C (-40°F) up to +175°C (347°F); intermittent use to 200°C (392°F). •A  pplication friendly; high solids products with moderate cure temperatures. • Waterborne, reduces VOC emissions. XYLAN

Additives

Series

Fluoropolymer

1421

Other

Lubricity

Whitford introduced the Xylan 1300 series, coupling two of the best engineering polymers available today: polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and PTFE. PPS is second only to PTFE in terms of chemical resistance at elevated temperatures. PPS provides an affinity for metals that contributes to its bonding power, and demonstrates superior mechanical toughness and abrasion resistance. The PTFE component delivers a low CoF and improved lubricant properties to the coating. The combination of PPS and PTFE produces a final coating which is virtually unaffected by solvents up to 400°F (205°C) and resists most acids and alkalis.

Recommended Performance

Speed

Pressure

PTFE

High

Low

General Purpose, good for smooth movement of parts, low friction at high speeds

1424

PTFE

Med

Low

Higher hardness and wear resistance and less porous than 1421, preferred for fasteners

1425

PTFE

Med

High

Contains secondary lubricant for high pressure performance, up to 150,000 Psi

1429

FEP

Med

Low

Best “release/nonstick” properties, especially when cured for short time above 280C (536F)

1427

PTFE

Corrosion Inhibitor

High

Low

Contains corrosion inhibiting pigment to resist corrosion. Good for clamps/mooring systems and umbilical connectors

4070

NONE

Various

N.A.

N.A.

Optional primers for 142x Series; increases chemical barrier and corrosion resistance

TABLE 3

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MOS2


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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Xylan 1300 Series: •R  esists most solvents and most chemicals even at elevated temperature. •H  igh-abrasion resistance (100X greater than Xylan 1000 Series). •C  an be used in multiple coats. Two coats of 15 to 25 µm ensure pinhole free coatings. • Continuous use to 230°C (445°F). • Waterborne with low VOC; easy clean up. Typical Xylan Series Properties

Xylan Series Properties 1000

1400

1300

Coating Type

PAI

Epoxy

PPS

Carrier

S

W

W

Operating Temperature oF (oC)

500 (260)

355 (180)

445 (230)

Chemical Resistance Acids

2

2

3

Chemical Resistance Bases

4

2

2

Lubricity

1

1

2

Key 1. Excellent 2. Good 3. Fair 4. Poor 5. Not Recommended W Water S Solvent

Whitford continually meets with industry experts at the OEM and end-user level to develop the next generation coatings, from environmentally friendlier versions to coatings for non-metallic substrates and parts used in Oil and Gas operations. Since its founding in 1969, Whitford continues to manufacture and develop coating solutions for the Oil and Gas industry. Today Whitford has 11 manufacturing facilities in eight countries and is positioned globally as the leading provider of the largest, most complete line of fluoropolymer coatings, many used in critical applications such as fasteners, BOP, wireline, actuators and valves. Xylan has long been the trademark of Whitford’s industrial coatings line, and is synonymous with thin film low-friction, wear-resistant composite coatings made up of reinforcing binder resins and fluoropolymer additives.

Whitford recognizes and understands the commitment coaters undertake in proper equipment set-up and application skills needed to produce high-quality

Xylar® primer with Xylan® topcoat now protects fasteners from corrosion 4 times longer than zinc phospate!

Xylan-coated fasteners

Xylar + Xylan

A winning combination

Where good ideas come to the surface whitfordww.com

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

The Rise in Demand for More Effective Coatings Technology Tom Cropper, Editor Further oil and gas exploration has sparked considerable growth in the development of solutions to combat corrosion. However, these new opportunities bring a host of challenges.

The Global Marine Coatings market will grow at a CAGR of 11.29% between 2014 and 20181.

T

HE EXPANSION of deep sea oil and gas exploration has sparked considerable and continued growth in the coatings and paintings market. However, this growth brings with it new challenges which means the new generation of coating materials will need to be stronger, cleaner and cheaper.

Rapid Growth in Coatings A recent report predicts the Global Marine Coatings market will grow at a CAGR of 11.29% between 2014 and 20181. The main driver will be a predicted upsurge in oil and gas exploration, particular in deep sea areas. Douglas Westwood expects a total of 83,0002 new oil wells to be required in 2014 of which 3,000 will be in off-shore wells and growth is expected to remain robust into the future. By 2020 demand will rise by 17% requiring the production of more than 600,000 new wells, many of which will have to come through deep water exploration. The same report predicted that deep water well creations will reach 476 by 2018, up from 185 in 2013. To achieve this, firms must become more aggressive in their exploration strategies which means they will be working in some of the most challenging environments imaginable. Infrastructure will be exposed to water and salt air together with corrosive elements such as sulphide, hydrogen and brine. In addition, extreme depths will bring equipment into contact with higher temperatures and pressure placing high stress on piping interiors. In such an extreme environment, the choice of coatings can make the difference between a successful, smooth operation, and the failure of the entire venture. Choose the wrong materials, or cut costs, and you can be looking at catastrophic environmental, reputational and economic loss.

8 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

RUSTY BOLT

In the USA, various reports place the annual cost relating to corrosion at $276bn a year3. Aside from some of the more obvious expenses relating to equipment or plant shut down, there are also less obvious longer term expenses relating to the overdesign to prevent anticipated corrosion or efficiency reductions. Equally, more stringent regulations to combat climate change and safeguard the marine environment increase the compliancy requirements on any operators – and therefore, by definition, will also increase the operational cost. However, these new requirements pale in comparison to the potential reputational impacts of any environmental loss due to operational failure. British Petroleum’s, Deepwater Horizon catastrophe demonstrated not only potential environmental harm but the devastating impact such events can have on a firm’s reputation


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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and, consequentially, economic outlook. In the aftermath of the catastrophe, BP placed the costs at more than $40bn4.

Development of Corrosion Prevention Corrosion is, of course, not a new phenomenon and from the moment we first started drilling for oil to the present day, the fight against it has been a major preoccupation for the industry. Early techniques focused on vinyl or rubber coatings. Over time, inorganic or zinc primers were added to the systems as well as epoxy intermediate coatings. Splash zones were typically protected with a thicker coal tar coating. More recent technology focuses on organic zinc rich coats and higher build epoxies. These provide considerable cost benefits over and above previous materials and are generally less expensive or require less coating in order to provide better protection. Some of the most recent developments revolve around the use of thermal spray aluminium. These provide high performance, can easily be applied and reduce the application costs, making them increasingly popular. However, these often work by sacrificing themselves to protect the metal underneath and as such have a limited lifespan. To address some of these issues and the others being faced, considerable investment is being devoted into new coating technologies which meet the cost demands of business, more extreme operating conditions and a stricter regulatory environment. To do this, coatings need to be: 1. Inexpensive to produce 2. Long lasting 3. Easy to apply 4. Kind to the environment New technologies include materials such as Whitford’s Xylar MMA5 which was launched at the recent Offshore Technologies Conference. This offers the high performance of a spray together with easy application and greater corrosion resistance. Shell, meanwhile, recently commissioned International Paints to protect their North Sea oil drilling platforms with a product called Interzone 9546. This provides protection to surfaces above sea, in the splash

zone and under water. Its bright colour also provides high visibility which can help with the identification of faults. Nanotechnology also holds out exciting potential. These materials are typically very small – between one and 100 nanometres. At this scale they often exhibit extremely strong magnetic attraction, which leads to the production of incredibly strong, but lightweight, materials ideal for corrosion prevention. Speaking to AOGR.com Wade Adams7, director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University said: “Laboratory measurements have made it clear that you can take a multiwall carbon nanotube and get what amounts to 100-gigapascal tensile strength, which is 20 times stronger than the strongest carbon fiber made today. Now that would be a revolution.” These nanotechnologies are making the progression out of the lab and into commercial production, with high levels already being produced in Belgium and Germany. Significant new research is also being invested into detection. Traditional methods such as Smart Pigging are expensive and can typically only be carried out occasionally. They tend to only detect corrosion once it reaches a level of 30% or more. New technologies focus on real time monitoring of corrosion enabling a timelier alert when materials require replacing. These advances promise a more effective monitoring system which can reduce the need for emergency repairs, down time and of course the risk of catastrophic failure.

Conclusion Development in the field of coatings continues apace, driven by the combined pressures of regulatory imperative, environmental considerations, cost implications and the rapid expansion into new and hostile territories. New materials will have to satisfy these demands while the operators of oil and gas rigs will have to invest significant time and resources into the planning and implementation of anti-corrosion methods. However, as long as the oil and gas market continues to expand, so too will the coatings and anti-corrosion business.

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Xylar® primer with Xylan® topcoat now protects fasteners from corrosion 4 times longer than zinc phospate! Xylar + Xylan

A winning combination

Where good ideas come to the surface whitfordww.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

The Growing Threat of Corrosion to Oil and Gas Exploration James Gooding, Staff Writer With many existing oil platforms being decades old, addressing corrosion issues is a major challenge for the oil and gas industry.

Increased risks come from a combination of factors such as tight budgets, the age of many platforms as well as the need to drill in more dangerous environments

R

ECENT YEARS have focused the minds of regulators and public alike on the risks of oil exploration. In the USA, deaths in 2012 reached a ten year high8, while the EU is currently investigating new regulations in order to stem what it judges to be unacceptably high risks in oil drilling9. The increased risks come from a combination of factors such as tight budgets, the age of many platforms as well as the need to drill in more dangerous environments.

The Growing Threat of Corrosion A recent report10 from BP and Shell highlighted the growing risk of corrosion in offshore oil and gas rigs. In particular, it highlighted what it said are the two most prevalent forms of corrosion – pitting, which can be seen with the naked eye and crevicing, which is harder to identify. More alarmingly, the report stated that there was evidence suggesting the stainless steel tubing being used in modern rigs was actually more vulnerable to corrosion than alloy tubing used in the past. One of the incidents highlighted in the report was BP’s Ula operation in Norway. Corrosion in a valve caused an estimated 125 barrels of oil and 1,600 KGs of gas to leak into the ocean. Investigators blamed poor maintenance and monitoring procedures together with inadequate component documentation, which they said could have led to significant loss of life. “The incident had the potential to become a major accident,” the Petroleum Safety Authority said. “A number of lives might have been lost and substantial material damage caused.”

An Aging Problem Additional risk factors stem from the age of many of the platforms operating around the world. Within the Gulf of Mexico for example – one of the harsher environments for oil exploration 10 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

– approximately half of all rigs are more than 20 years old. Many have lived far longer than their designers originally intended and have infrastructure which was not built to modern safety standards. One example can be found in the West Cameron 45 A oil platform situated off the Louisiana coast. It is one of the oldest platforms in the world and has survived decades of harsh ocean environments and several major hurricanes, but time has taken its toll. In 2009 a corroded pipe gave way releasing flammable gas during a routine inspection. Another major fire in the nearby Vermilion 380A platform operated by Mariner Energy Inc. was attributed to the corrosion of a 30 year old piece of piping11. Age is also a problem in oil pipelines, where outdated welding techniques can leave joints vulnerable to corrosion. Some are too small to accommodate modern devices designed to detect spills, making it difficult to even asses the scale of any potential problem. As a result pipes are prone to sudden and unexpected failure as happened in 2013 when a series of ruptures hit various towns in Illinois. Ruptures of Exxon Mobil and Chevron pipelines were attributed to agerelated corrosion within the pipes. Both lines used outdated low frequency electric welded pipes. Although these have not been used since the 1970s, they still make up a quarter of liquid fuel pipelines across the USA12.

Hostile Expansion While existing infrastructure is showing its age, the new modern day platforms face multiple challenges. The need to meet an increase in demand is pushing oil exploration companies to investigate harder to reach potential oil fields. This in turn means equipment will face a harsher environment than ever before as deep water drilling projects centre on high pressure, high temperature oil fields (HPHT). Nowhere is this


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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more significant than in the North Sea, where expansion into HPHT fields has revived the area’s fortunes, but where major fears exist surrounding safety issues. In 2013, Total’s Elgin oil field experienced the biggest North Sea oil leak in 20 years due to highly corrosive high pressure drilling fluid. These fluids, such as calcium bromide, are commonly used in deep sea drilling and as operators turn to deeper, hotter and higher temperature oil fields there are fears that other similar rigs could be similarly at risk. Speaking to the press agency Reuters13, John Downs, a chemical engineer and consultant said: “Bromide brines have been used in thousands of wells since their introduction in the 1980s. An Extensive repair programme may be needed if the stress corrosion and cracking caused by bromide brine in Elgin is also happening elsewhere.” Total, the operators of the Elgin oil field, have also warned that others in the area may too be at risk, including the Shell Shearwater platform, which was evacuated in the light of the Elgin leak. Because deep water exploration delved beyond the experience of current oil exploration there is still considerable uncertainty on the effect of these high pressure fluids on the interiors of pipes, presenting numerous difficulties in the accurate assessment of risk.

Addressing the Challenges The oil and gas industry therefore has multiple challenges. It has to cope with aging and out of date infrastructure, plus the challenges of protecting equipment working in the harsher environments of deep water exploration. As such it can be described as looking to the future and to the past simultaneously, as it seeks new developments which can ensure the integrity of existing oil platforms and provide sufficient safety regimes for the new era. In doing this it also faces a tougher regulatory climate. Concerns at the high accident rates of recent years have prompted governments across the country to examine new, tougher, safety measures. The industry has challenged plans for new regulation saying it threatens to strangle innovation, but regardless of these concerns, meeting these guidelines will involve the development of more robust and longer lasting coating materials, together with the implementation of more rigorous monitoring procedures. This in turn is leading to extensive research into the development of new and innovative technologies which simultaneously improve the existing flow of oil and gas while maintaining procedures which will be sufficiently robust to cope with ever harsher operating conditions.

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OIL FIELD INDIA

OIL FIELD IRAN

Within the Gulf of Mexico for example – one of the harsher environments for oil exploration – approximately half of

Xylar® primer with Xylan® topcoat now protects fasteners from corrosion 4 times longer than zinc phospate!

all rigs are more than 20 years old

Xylar + Xylan

A winning combination

Where good ideas come to the surface whitfordww.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

Lighter, Stronger, and Cheaper: the Next Generation of Coatings Jo Roth, Staff Writer The need to comply with more stringent safety requirements, together with the growing demand for more aggressive exploration, means the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major oil and gas companies are investing considerable sums into developing better and more reliable anti-corrosion technologies.

A series of high profile accidents have heightened the impression that current safety standards in the oil and gas industry are not up to scratch

T

HE OIL and gas industry stands at a cross roads. On the one hand it needs to look back into the past to ensure the safety of existing and aging oil rigs; but on the other it needs to develop new materials and technologies which will enable it to push back the boundaries of deep water exploration. These combined concerns create a number of regulatory, environmental and business pressures with which the oil and gas industry must comply.

The Need for Change A series of high profile accidents have heightened the impression that current safety standards in the oil and gas industry are not up to scratch. Concerns focus on the corrosive effects of chemicals used in the drilling process; the condition of aging infrastructure and whether current monitoring methods are robust enough to identify potential problems before they emerge. In addition, the expansion into deeper oil reserves that were previously considered beyond reach, exposes equipment to unprecedentedly harsh conditions, the effects of which are still not fully understood. Business requirements focus on the control of costs through application, equipment replacement and down-time during repair. As such, the new generation of coating solutions needs to be long lasting, easy to apply, compatible with the environment and with the capability to withstand harsher conditions than ever before. Below, we examine some of ways in which current coating technologies are being put to use.

Flow Additives By introducing additives into oil flow, the corrosive nature of fluids inside can be considerably 12 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

reduced. These inhibitors include oxygen scavengers, biocidal agents or scaling agents, which each, in their own way, reduce the corrosive effects of the fluid within the pipeline. When used correctly, they can have a considerable effect over and above that brought by coatings. Halliburton have become one of the leading names in this area and point to the example of a five well project within the Utah Basin. Corrosion had spiralled out of control resulting in considerable overheads for the operator. Halliburton created a customised solution consisting of Barracor, a passive agent, Aldacide a biocide and Oxygon, an oxygen scavenger. Before implementation of the solution, corrosion rates were as high as 14.3lbs/ft/year. Afterwards, it had reduced 1.2lb/ft/year, well below industry guidelines. The benefits were a reduction in corrosion rates to minimal levels, which resulted in the elimination of costs involved in the purchase of new equipment and downtime during repair. In the end Halliburton estimates this provided the operator with savings of between $500,000 and $1,000,000.

Deep Water Exploration With many of the existing oil fields running low, the challenge is to find new sources, and that means venturing into harder to reach fields. These are often in remote areas, at depths of several thousand meters and several kilometres below the seabed. This creates unique challenges and requires equipment uniquely tailored to the demands of extracting oil in these difficult to reach areas. Pipelines extracting this oil need robust coatings on the inside and outside. From without it needs to be protected from salt water, while on the inside it needs to guard against corrosive chemicals


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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such as carbonates, sulphates and salts which can quickly eat through pipelines. The challenges of depth also mean that equipment needs to be much lighter and more flexible. One of the firms pioneering new technology in this area is Evonik Industries. It has created a material trademarked as VESTAMID NRG14, a much lighter and more flexible material for the construction of pipelines. For depths of up to 2,500 metres, a flexible cable made of steel and VESTAMID NRG is used, but at deeper levels the steel components are removed altogether. At these extreme depths, Evonik has produced a composite pipe made entirely from VESTAMID NRG and reinforced with glass fibre. “Producing kilometre long stable polymer lines isn’t easy,” explained Business Manager Andreas Dowe from Evonik. “When large pipelines are being produced, the polyamide that is melted on must still be very rigid otherwise it could easily flow away. Evonik has developed a special process that ensures sufficient rigidity to enable production.”

Monitoring Of equal importance to the development of new technologies, is the improvement of monitoring practices. Many of the recent major accidents have been caused by issues which had gone undetected, while aging pipelines are difficult to examine using most conventional methods. The most common method used today is called Smart Pigging. These so called ‘pigs’ are used to clean the interiors of the pipelines, but they can also be used to monitor corrosion or damage to the surface. However, this method is expensive and can only be performed at certain intervals. The potential for issues to go undetected, therefore, is huge. Development now centres on more effective solutions which can monitor the rate of degradation in real time. BP has developed Permasense15, a state of the art sensor which can provide more up to date readings on the levels

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OIL FOUND

With many of the existing oil fields running low, the challenge is to find new sources, and that means venturing into harder to reach fields

of corrosion, the limits of materials, and the state of infrastructure. While pigging can only be done on certain occasions, Permasense can offer on-demand updates on the thickness of piping walls. Already it is being used in BP’s refineries, and after a successful trial at the Savonette platform in Trinidad and Tobago, BP now plans to roll it out across its rigs.

Conclusion Considerable strides have been achieved in the development of new technologies to ensure the safety and integrity of oil and gas rigs. But with much of the existing infrastructure being decades old, there is still considerable doubt over the safety of many rigs in operation today. The push into deepwater exploration also exposes companies to risks that are not yet fully understood. For this reason research and development will become a much higher priority as the industry moves into the new era of deep sea exploration.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

Going Deeper – The New Frontier of Oil and Gas Tom Cropper, Editor

The need to unlock previously unreachable oil and gas reserves is pushing oil and gas companies to explore ever more challenging environments. Doing so safely, will require substantial investment in new anti-corrosion technologies.

A height of ten metres would not be unheard of – that’s comparable to the North Sea – but we will be seeing them more regularly

D

EEPER, FURTHER, lighter, and more extreme; these are all words which sum up the future of oil and gas exploration. Together with new stricter guidelines, guaranteeing the safety of these drilling operations has never been more challenging. In 2013, the Australian Government16 awarded four exploration contracts to BP to explore drilling opportunities in the Great Australian Bight. The permits are controversial for several reasons. First there are environmental considerations. It is only four years since the Gulf of Mexico disaster and BP’s reputation has still not recovered. Furthermore, the exploration area overlaps a marine park and whale calving zones, which means the potential impact of accidents are severe. The operating environment is uniquely challenging. The deep water basin is situated 300km off the Australian coast and the next piece of land is Antarctica. As the exploration team negotiates depths of up to 5,000 metres, they will face extreme weather conditions as Mark Stanley, BP’s vice president for Wells New Ventures17 concedes. “Compared with other operating environments around the globe, ocean conditions in the GAB are extreme,” he explains. “Since the next piece of land is Antarctica which is some 4,000km away, waves have a tremendously long distance to build in height and extend in length. A height of ten metres would not be unheard of – that’s comparable to the North Sea – but we will be seeing them more regularly.” The Great Australian Bight is representative of the extreme challenges the oil industry faces as it attempts to cope with a predicted explosion in demand for oil. Despite the growth of renewable energies and fears surrounding the environmental impact of oil, global appetite shows no sign of abating.

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Growing Demand According to the International Energy Agency, oil consumption grew by 1.3 million barrels per day in 2013 to 91.3million b/d. It suggests that global demand is expected to rise by a further 1.3 million b/d in 2014. Douglas Westwood18 predicts a further 673,000 new oil wells will have to be drilled between 2014 and 2020. In order to meet this demand, new areas are being explored with the majority of new sources likely to come from deep water and hard to reach areas such as off the coast of Brazil and in the North Sea. Finding this oil will expose equipment to a uniquely challenging set of environmental factors which, together with greater scrutiny on safety, will make disaster prevention a major obstacle to any successful exploration. Materials will need to achieve the difficult balancing act of being simultaneously lighter and flexible but also stronger. Because oil will often be at a higher temperature and pressure, pipelines will not only need highly robust external protection from salt water, but also extremely strong internal protection from the corrosive elements in oil and gas as well as drilling fluid. In order to do this, significant research and development is being invested into new technologies. In 2012, BP announced a $100million international research centre known as the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials19. Based at the University of Manchester, it will pioneer research into state of the art technology and materials which will enable it to plunge ever greater depths. These include new, stronger alloys and smart coatings intended to cope with the unique conditions these new rigs are likely to encounter. It is also pushing ahead with its flagship Project 20K, which aims to create the field of the future – a gigantic operation which will be able to plunge depths of thousands of metres, and drill several


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

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In order to meet this demand, new areas are being explored with the majority of new sources likely to come from deep water and hard to reach areas such as off the coast of Brazil and in the North Sea

kilometres below the seabed to extract oil at temperatures beyond 300 degrees Celsius and at pressures greater than 20,000 psi.

New Materials One of the most exciting advances comes in the evolution of nanotechnology which has the potential to produce the ultra-lightweight and ultra-strong materials required for deep water exploration. Nano technologies exist on a microscopic scale of between 1-100 nanometres. At this level, nanoparticles can produce extremely high magnetic properties resulting in a lightweight but incredibly strong material. The technology has the potential to be applied across many different industries, especially in oil and gas exploration. To investigate the possibilities, the Bureau of Economic Geology20, together with major energy giants such as Total, Statoil, Schlurmberger, BP, Shell and Petrobras, formed the Advanced Energy Consortium to fund research into ways in which nanotechnology could be leveraged for the oil and gas industry. Although considerable work still needs to be done in order to transition this technology from the research stage into commercial production, nano technology is already being used today to produce stronger and lighter nanosteel alloys suitable for deployment in deepwater drilling.

In April 2014, Industrial Nanotech21 landed its first major order from Pemex, Mexico’s State owned oil company, for its industrial thermal insulation solutions, Nansulate, which provide high heat thermal insulation and corrosion resistance. It’s a small glimpse of the immense commercial potential of many different nanotechnologies within the oil and gas exploration market.

Conclusion The higher the demand for oil, the greater the requirement to explore unconventional sources, which means going deeper and venturing into ever more challenging areas. The risks of operating in such areas are extreme, but the shadow of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and other catastrophes continues to hang over the entire industry. Its challenge is, therefore, a seemingly impossible one – to successfully explore resources which have hitherto been beyond our reach, but to do so in a way which is safe and secure for the environment. Achieving this aim will require the development of novel approaches and new technologies which can greatly enhance the safety and security of deep water oil drilling. As we’ve seen in this Report, the challenges being faced by oil and gas companies are unprecedented, but so too are the rewards.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INDUSTRIAL COATINGS SOLUTIONS

References: Expansion of oil and gas sparks growth coatings. http://www.azom.com/news.aspx?newsID=40611

1

Douglas Westood Long Term Growth in oil and gas drilling report, April 2014.

2

http://www.douglas-westwood.com/news/info.php?refnum=874#.U1YrdvldVVs HSE risks dealing with corrosion. http://www.arabianoilandgas.com/article-12247-hse-risks-dealing-with-corrosion/1/

3

4

Daily Telegraph. BP oil spill costs exceed 4$2bn http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10210318/BP-warns-Gulf-spill-costs-will-exceed-42.4bn-as-compensation-costs-rise.html

5

http://www.whitfordww.com/industrial/xylar.html

6

http://www.international-pc.com/resource-centre/news/onegas-project.aspx

7

Advances in Nanotechnology form AOGR.com

http://www.aogr.com/magazine/cover-story/advances-in-nanotechnology-hold-huge-potential-promise-in-upstream-applicat 8

Oil and Gas worker safety report in USA 2012. http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059986375

9

http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/ProposedEURegulation.cfm

10

Experts highlight the danger of corrosion on offshore rigs. http://sentientscience.com/news/experts-highlight-danger-of-corrosion-in-offshore-oil-rigs/

11

Mariner Energy fire due to corroded equipment http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/31/mariner-energy-oil-rig-fire_n_869053.html

12

Big Spills from Aging Oil Pipeline. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323741004578418693982405224

Oil and Gas industry fears more leaks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/05/us-total-elgin-idUSBRE9840PU20130905

13

14

http://www.vestamid.com/sites/dc/Downloadcenter/Evonik/Product/VESTAMID/en/brochures/flyer-vestamid%C2%AE-nrg-for-liners-.pdf

15

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/bp-and-technology/technology-and-safety/managing-corrosion.html

16

17

18

The Australian, May 30 2013. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/oil-giant-bp-contracts-us755m-rig-for-search-for-petroleum-in-the-great-australian-bight-south-of-ceduna/story-e6frg6n6-1226653586704

BP press office. http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/features/the-great-australian-bight--exploring-a-deep-water-frontier.html Global demand requires 670000 plus wells through 2020.

http://www.naturalgasintel.com/articles/97750-global-demand-growth-to-require-670000-plus-wells-through-2020 19

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=8589

20

http://www.beg.utexas.edu/

21

Industrial Nanotech press office.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140414005654/en/Industrial-Nanotech-Lands-Major-Order-Pemex-Mexico%E2%80%99s

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