Corrosion problems in production - PetroWiki

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Corrosion of metal in the presence of water is a common problem across many industries. The fact that most oil and gas production includes co-produced water makes corrosion a pervasive issue across the industry. Age and presence of corrosive materials such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exacerbate the problem. Corrosion control in oil and gas production is reviewed in depth in Treseder and Tuttle,[1] Brondel, et al.,[2] and NACE,[3] from which some of the following material is abstracted. Iron is inherently (thermodynamically) sufficiently active to react spontaneously with water (corrosion), generating soluble iron ions and hydrogen gas. The utility of iron alloys depends on minimizing the corrosion rate. Corrosion of steel is an "electrochemical process," involving the transfer of electrons from iron atoms in the metal to hydrogen ions or oxygen in water. This separation of the overall corrosion process into two reactions is not an electrochemical nuance; these processes generally do take place at separate locations on the same piece of metal. This separation requires the presence of a medium to complete the electrical circuit between anode (site of iron dissolution) and cathode (site for corrodant reduction). Electrons travel in the metal phase, but the ions involved in the corrosion process cannot.