Systems that can continuously monitor the process of corrosion and erosion are known as corrosion and erosion monitoring systems. The term ‘corrosion’ implies gradual wearing of metals caused by oxidation, while ‘erosion’ is gradual weathering off of materials such as rock.
In other words, corrosion is a chemical change, while erosion is a physical change. In the U.S. alone, corrosion costs the oil & gas (O&G) industry over US$ 5 Bn every year. With more rigid guidelines regarding safety and environment protection and increased inspection by media and government agencies, the need for a comprehensive corrosion and erosion monitoring system is rising.
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The traditional methods of monitoring corrosion and erosion were facing a challenge posed by destructive combination of corrosive compounds and sand present in the crude oil produced. Thus, these methods were considered inadequate, as they could not differentiate one destructive mechanism from the other. This led to introduction of comprehensive corrosion and erosion monitoring systems that use the latest corrosion and erosion monitoring technology and that are highly cost effective.
Benefits offered by corrosion and erosion monitoring systems include immediate alerts regarding process updates and process upsets that facilitate a remedial action to prevent further damage, collection of information about sand production for better management of reservoirs, quick detection of low corrosion and erosion in systems with little or no corrosion allowance, low requirement for cables, and reduction in consumption of chemical inhibitors.
Various kinds of tests are conducted on corrosion and erosion monitoring systems. These include H2S and sour service testing, crude oil corrosivity tests, high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) applications, hydrogen embrittlement, refinery corrosion, electrochemical testing, mechanical testing, and standardized testing (such as ISO, NACE, EFC, and ASTM).
Key applications of corrosion and erosion monitoring systems in the oil & gas industry include sand erosion, aging assets, and assets with high impact of failure. Refining applications of these systems include opportunity crude, shutdown management, and customer-specified starter systems.
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The corrosion and erosion monitoring systems market is driven by several corporate alliances such as mergers and acquisitions or joint venture. For instance, Emerson’s acquisition of UK-based Permasense, one of the prominent player in the corrosion and erosion monitoring systems market, serving the offshore and onshore oil production, chemical, refining, power, metals and mining, pipelines and other industries.