Oil Industry Suffers in Absence of Corrosion Management

Oil Industry Suffers in Absence of Corrosion ManagementOil Industry Suffers in Absence of Corrosion Management

More than 50% of total annual investment in major industries goes to the oil industry, which currently operates at minimal efficiency due to lack of corrosion management. Dilapidated oil and gas resources inflict a 4-5 percent loss on gross domestic product (GDP). This figure indicates an urgent need for applying corrosion management to this vital sector of the economy, an industry official said.

"Out of 220 incidents in the oil and gas industry over the past two years, 60 resulted due to lack of corrosion management, although the amount of damage cannot be calculated precisely," Forsat Emrooz daily quoted Alireza Arabi, the CEO of oil operations and maintenance services as saying.

On the instructions of Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, corrosion management was set as a top priority, and deputy oil minister for engineering affairs, Emad Hosseini, was tasked with forming corrosion management strategic committee to resolve the issue and stop further losses.

Corrosion management aims at reducing physical, financial, or environmental harm and expenses by employing certain techniques in the infrastructural level of operational or non-operational oil facilities. It will also boost the knowledge and strength of workforce, improve engineering processes, develop monitoring and evaluation techniques, provide precise ways for calculating corrosion costs, conduct regular surveys, and incorporate new precautionary measures.

According to Arabi, the Iranian Corrosion Management Association, as a private entity, was assigned to evaluate and train qualified workforce to implement corrosion management.

Noting that the efficient use of corrosion management can save five percent in annual GDP, Hosseini added that the lack of a database for calculating corrosion costs in oil industry was recompensed by establishing a relevant secretariat at the oil ministry.

Hosseini added that "the ministry does not intend to rule out the role of certain oil and gas companies in inflicting losses on the industry, but is determined to minimize the negative effects of corrosion, namely reducing productivity rate and increasing maintenance costs."

  Worn-Out Oil Facilities

Due to a lack of state-of-the-art equipment and technology, the presently depleted equipment that was imported long ago has never been upgraded or exchanged for newer models. The dilapidated facilities are the industry's big problem. "The worn-out machinery only reduces productivity in the sector, and the issue needs to be resolved through indigenizing the technology used in the oil industry."

Most corrosion cases occur in the upstream sector of oil industry whose actual productivity rate is only 25%, while corrosion management is more systematic in refineries and petrochemical plants due to the demanding nature of their activities.

To elaborate the responsibility of oil ministry, Head of Iranian Corrosion Management Association told Forsat Emrooz that implementation of corrosion management must be based on international standards "that are unfortunately being violated in Iran on a regular basis."

He went on to say that Iran loses 6-8 percent in GDP directly and indirectly as a reault of failing to manage corrosion cases in various industries. In order to reduce such costs and increase efficiency in the oil industry, an internationally approved software will be used to implement corrosion management as of next year (begins March 21).

"We hope to reduce corrosion by at least two percent in the oil industry over the next two years," he added.