Challenges in the field
In the Oil and Gas sector there are many challenges relating to cost-effective operational performance and asset integrity management. The ultimate goal for the industry is to maximise production with improved process safety. The presence of sand in production fluids and corrosive gases (in the aqueous phase), coupled with the shift towards deeper wells and the commercial pressures to increase production rates creates challenges for operators to maintain the integrity of piping and other process equipment. Another major consideration for the industry is safety. Many processes in the oil & gas and power generation industries are required to operate in extreme environments, often with high standards of safety and efficiency. These environments vary and could be corrosive, abrasive or subject to extreme temperatures, pressures, vibration or contamination, or any combinations of these factors. Measurement technologies and systems that will enable accuracy, repeatability and reliability are vital to meet the growing challenges in these sectors. Current and future research is focused understanding the fundamentals in order to assist the industry in optimising product development for chemical companies, and to provide information for Oil and Gas operators to improve their asset integrity management strategies. Autoclave corrosion tests are a convenient means for laboratory simulation of many service environments. The reason for such tests is to recreate the high temperatures and high pressures commonly occurring in commercial or industrial processes. Downhole pressures can be up to 300 bar and temperatures can be 180 °C, or even higher in some fields.