Category Archives: Cathodic Protection

Corrosion Industry Leaders MATCOR and CP Masters Join Forces

Chalfont, PA (Aug 31, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc., the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions recently announced that the company has joined forces with CP Masters, Inc. The combined company will be known as MATCOR.

MATCOR_logoCP Masters brings 30 years of cathodic protection technical and system installation expertise to the MATCOR team. In addition to industry-qualified and experienced people, the company maintains one of the industry’s largest fleets of construction equipment.

This move enables MATCOR to execute cathodic protection and AC mitigation projects directly and efficiently. Additional benefits to customers include:

  • Improved cost-effectiveness
  • Consistent, high quality construction and installation services
  • Access to expert, conveniently located survey teams
  • Turnkey cathodic protection and AC mitigation solutions

“CP Masters and MATCOR have over 70 years of combined name recognition in the industry—with CP Masters known for superior construction and installation services, and MATCOR known for engineering expertise and proprietary products,” said Kevin Pitts, President of MATCOR, Inc. “Now as one company, we are able to offer customers a powerful combination of the best people, services and products in the corrosion industry.”


3 Cathodic Protection Methods for New Plant Construction

Plant Piping Cathodic Protection Overview

Linear Anode Cathodic Protection for Plant PipingCathodic protection, when applied properly is an effective means to prevent corrosion. For many underground applications, such as pipelines, cathodic protection system design is relatively straightforward. Plant and facility environments, however, are not simple applications. Plants have congested underground piping systems in a tightly spaced footprint. The presence of copper grounding systems, foundations with reinforcing steel embedded in concrete, conduit, utility piping and structural pilings (either bare or concrete with reinforcing steel) can greatly complicate the task of designing a cathodic protection system.

For simple plant facilities, it is possible to isolate the piping and utilize a conventional galvanic corrosion prevention system. This works only if the plant piping is electrically isolated from other underground structures for the life of the facility. For most plant and facility applications, it is not practical to isolate the piping from the grounding system for the life of the facility. In these cases an impressed current anode system is the only alternative.

3 Cathodic Protection Methods for Underground Piping and Structures

There are three basic approaches to cathodically protect underground piping and structures using impressed current anodes.

  1. Deep Anode

    One method is the deep anode in which high current capacity anodes are installed from the structure in a deep hole drilled vertically 150+ feet deep. This is analogous to lighting a football field with floodlights.

  2. Shallow Anode or Distributed Anode Bed

    Another method is to use a shallow ground bed anode design where many smaller capacity ground bed anodes are spaced near the intended structures – analogous to street lamps lighting a street.

  3. Linear Anode

    The third method is to place a linear anode parallel to and in close proximity to the piping to be protected discharging current continuously along its length – similar to fiber optic lighting.

This technical bulletin details the advantages of using the linear anode approach for new plant construction projects to protect buried piping in a congested environment. This approach provides the most effective solution both technically and commercially.

Plant and Facility Cathodic Protection Design Issues

Electrical Isolation in a Congested Plant Environment

Electrical isolation is a major concern when designing a CP system for any plant or facility application. Isolating a single cross country pipeline segment from point A to point B is achieved rather simply through the use of electrical isolation flanges/isolation joints that the pipeline operator maintains and tests regularly. The realities of power plant piping networks, on the other hand, significantly complicate electrical isolation. By code, everything above grade in a plant must be grounded, yet it is common to see cathodic protection systems designed based on isolation of the buried piping. Even if electrical isolation is achieved during the plant construction, maintaining electrical isolation over the life of the facility may not be realistic. Given the speed and complexity with which new plants are erected, achieving electrical isolation during construction is no simple task. Once installed, electrical isolation flange kits require regular monitoring and periodic replacement that often does not occur. Piping modifications and other plant maintenance activities can also result in an inadvertent loss of electrical isolation. Cathodic protection design that relies on electrical isolation should be avoided for plant applications.

Current Distribution – a Critical Issue in Cathodic Protection Design

Another critical issue that must be properly considered during the design of a CP system for plant applications is the highly congested underground environment and the challenges of achieving thorough current distribution. Buried piping is often located in congested underground areas in close proximity to grounding systems, foundations with reinforcing steel, pilings systems, metallic duct banks and other structures that can shield current from the piping systems that are the intended target of plant cathodic protection systems. It is virtually impossible to assess where current will go in a plant environment – the more remote the anode source, the more difficult it is to assure appropriate current distribution.

Stray Current

When discussing current distribution, it is also important to discuss the potential for stray current. For grounded systems, current that is picked up by other buried metallic structures is merely current that is wasted and not available to protect the intended buried piping structures. For isolated metallic structures, such as foreign pipelines, ductile iron piping systems, and nearby facilities or structures, stray current may be a significant concern. Stray current problems occur when current is picked up on an isolated structure and later discharges off that structure and back to a grounded structure. At the location where stray currents discharge, rapid corrosion may be inadvertently induced on the isolated structure.

The Case for Linear Anode Cathodic Protection System Design

The linear anode solution consists of long runs of linear anode installed parallel and in very close proximity to the piping being protected. The current output is kept very low and is generally consistent across the entire system. A linear anode is in effect a distributed system with an infinite number of anodes spaced continually. This system provides the best technical cathodic protection solution and minimizes the current output required as follows:

  • Does not require electrical isolation.
    Because the linear anode is closely located next to the piping being protected, electrical isolation is not a significant concern. The anode is “closely coupled” to the piping and operates with a very low anode gradient that minimizes any losses to nearby structures including grounding.
  • Assures good current distribution as the anode runs parallel to the piping being protected.
    The linear anode cathodic protection system design eliminates any requirement for supplemental anodes to address areas where remote anodes may be shielded after the CP system is commissioned. Wherever the piping goes, the linear anode follows in the same trench. This also makes it very easy to adapt the design during piping revisions that may change the piping system routing as the plant construction proceeds.
  • Eliminates risks of stray current.
    Close proximity to the piping being protected significantly limits current losses to other structures and virtually eliminates shielding and stray current concerns. This also significantly reduces the total current requirements for the system, reducing the rectifier requirements.
  • Access issues – the linear anode is installed in very close proximity to the piping that is to be protected.
    This minimizes the risk of third party damage and reduces trenching required for buried cable. If installed in conjunction with the piping, the anode can be placed in the same trench as the piping affording the anode protection by the piping itself from external damage. This is a very cost effective cathodic protection installation when installed concurrently with the piping.
  • Ease of installation – when installed alongside the piping as the piping is being installed, the installation is simply a matter of laying the anode cable in the trench.

Our experts are happy to answer your questions about your plant piping cathodic protection system design.

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MATCOR Profiled in India Corrosion Publication

MATCOR Profile in Coatings and Anti-Corrosion Engineering Review, Apr/May 2015 issueThank you to Abraham Mathai at Coatings and Anti Corrosion Engineering Review for the profile about MATCOR and our 40th anniversary in the April/May 2015 issue!

MATCOR was founded in 1975 by William R. Schutt when he set out to develop a high quality, reliable source for cathodic protection products and equipment. The company designed and provided the first commercial cathodic protection system for reinforced concrete bridge decks that same year. The company has grown to offer a broad portfolio of proprietary cathodic protection and AC mitigation products, in addition to complete corrosion engineering services.

In March of 2015, MATCOR was acquired by Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services (Brand). Brand also owns CP Masters, Inc., a leader in the design and construction of cathodic protection and corrosion control prevention in the North American energy markets.


Video Demonstrates Cathodic Protection System Installation

Iron Gopher® Impressed Current Linear Anode System designed for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is installed beneath an above ground storage tank (AST)

Chalfont, PA (May 27, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions recently released a video showing the installation of the company’s Iron Gopher impressed current linear anode system at the site of an above ground storage tank in Texas.

Trenching to install cathodic protection systems may not be feasible for applications such as cross country pipelines, congested industrial environments and under above ground storage tanks. For these horizontal directional drilling applications, a linear anode with superior mechanical strength is required. The Iron Gopher with Kynex® technology is the only impressed current linear anode designed specifically for cathodic protection in horizontal directional drilling applications.

“As another example, Colonial Pipeline installed several thousand feet of our Iron Gopher® linear anode at an HDD project in NE Georgia,” said Ted Huck, VP of Sales for MATCOR. “With its unique design and greatly increased strength, Iron Gopher is superior to anything seen in the market for cathodic protection in HDD applications.”

Learn about MATCOR’s complete cathodic protection installation services.


Linear Anode Cathodic Protection Presentation at NACE UAE

MATCOR to Present on Impressed Current Linear Anode Cathodic Protection at NACE UAE Corrosion Conference in Abu Dhabi

Chalfont, PA (April 27, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrShailesh Javia, MATCOR, Inc. to present on linear anode cathodic protection at NACE UAE.osion engineering solutions will present a paper exploring the use of flexible impressed current linear anodes to minimize current densities for a wide range of cathodic protection applications at the annual NACE UAE Corrosion Conference held at the St. Regis in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates May 12-14, 2015.

Flexible Impressed Current Linear Anode Cathodic Protection
Shailesh Javia, MATCOR
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 3:35-4:00 p.m. in Al Mudhaif 1

The presentation explores flexible impressed current linear anode cathodic protection that extends the benefits of linear anodes for various CP applications. To minimize current distribution challenges, the linear anodes are designed utilizing multiple internal connections, which provides redundancy and protection against uneven anode consumption, minimizes current densities and allows placement in close proximity to the structure. The linear anode is simple to install, requiring only a small trench, and is ideal for congested areas and tight spaces. See below for the complete abstract.


Shailesh Javia serves as International Director for MATCOR and has over 22 years experience focused on corrosion engineering and cathodic protection. His diverse knowledge and experience includes designing cathodic protection systems, managing turnkey CP projects and conducting commissioning surveys for cross country and city gas pipelines, tanks and vessels, tank bottoms, and industrial facilities including fertilizer, petrochemical and power plants, and refineries. Mr. Javia is a certified NACE Cathodic Protection Technologist, has successfully completed the NACE Direct Assessment Course and has presented several papers at NACE and ASME conferences.

ABSTRACT: Applications of Impressed Current Linear Anodes in Cathodic Protection

Flexible impressed current linear anodes can extend the benefits
 of linear anodes to a wide range 
of cathodic protection applications. Tight spaces, high traffic areas, poorly coated pipelines, new construction tank bottom, tank bottom retrofits, reinforcing steel-in-concrete, sheet pile walls or inside large diameter pipes – are all good examples of linear anode cathodic protection applications.

Linear anodes handle current distribution challenges by minimizing current densities, in addition to placement in close proximity to the structure being protected from corrosion. Innovative design utilizing 
multiple internal connections provides redundancy, protects against uneven
 anode consumption and minimizes
 voltage drop.

Linear anodes can simply 
be laid alongside a new pipeline; cable
 plowed next to an existing pipeline, or 
installed utilizing horizontal directional 
drilling (HDD) under an existing
 structure. Linear anodes require only a small trench for installation, ideal for congested areas and minimizing landowner “right of way” issues.


New Energy Report Underscores Need for Cathodic Protection Systems to Prevent Corrosion

Energy Report - Gas Regions in US
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

In a recent update to its drilling productivity energy report, the Energy Information Agency revealed that there are now three US oil fields that are producing more than one million barrels of oil a day (BPD). In North Dakota, the Bakken Shale has been a major economic boon for the region while in Texas the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale have both exceeded predictions. As oil and natural gas continues to expand in these regions, the need for cathodic protection systems to prevent corrosion grows.

The three fields are so prolific that they now account for at least a third of the total US daily oil production. In fact, Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute found that the output of the three combined fields now surpasses 4 million BPD.

Each of these regions has seen rapid growth that is nearly unprecedented in the United States. The Bakken oil production was less than 200,000 barrels per day in 2008 and is now producing around 1,100,000, an increase of 450% in just over five years.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Eagle Ford’s natural gas production has tripled in the last three years and oil production has also flourished in recent years. The region was producing less 100,000 BPD in 2010 to more than 1,400,000 BPD in 2014.

Finally, wells that had been previously drilled in the Permian zones have found new life with the development of horizontal drilling techniques. Historically, wells had a 34 percent recovery rate, but that benchmark is being challenged with new technologies.

“This Energy Information Agency report is yet another reminder that oil and gas production in the United States will continue to flourish in the years to come,” said Chris Sheldon, utilities practice lead at MATCOR. “With such rapid growth, however, it’s vital that infrastructure is built to accommodate the changes. That means building it fast, but also building it right.”

“Cathodic protection systems, like those produced by MATCOR, ensure the safety of oil and natural gas production and delivery assets.”

Learn More About Cathodic Protection Systems

MATCOR is a corrosion prevention firm that engineers, manufactures, installs, commissions and maintains a proven range of turnkey proprietary cathodic protection and AC mitigation systems worldwide for the oil & gas, power, water/wastewater and other infrastructures industries.

Contact a MATCOR corrosion expert by completing our contact form or calling +1-215-348-2974.

Elite oil fields redefine meaning of crude’s ‘Big Three’,” CNBC, July 27, 2014.

Cathodic Protection Systems Vital in Above Ground Storage Tanks

In January 2014, above ground storage tanks (ASTs) containing the chemical 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) was released into Elk River in West Virginia. The leaks, which cursory reports believe to be the likely the result of corrosion, could have been avoided by implementing proper cathodic protection systems.

The facility, operated by Freedom Industries, containing the chemical was located in Charleston, West Virginia. Recently, federal investigators discovered that the spill might have originated from more than one tank and could account for up to 10,000 gallons of MCHM.

This catastrophe, which left the 300,000 residents across nine West Virginia counties without potable water, could have been avoided by taking proper precautions.

The spill is currently being attributed to corrosion in the above ground storage tanks that held the MCHM. Corrosion is a serious and persistent concern for ASTs, which must withstand the elements.

“Above ground storage tanks pose a specific set of problems when it comes to corrosion prevention. The evidence collected by several federal agencies suggests that this hazardous leak was the result of a tank bottom leak,” said Ted Huck, vice president, international sales and practice lead – plants and facilities at MATCOR. “The leak was caused by the corrosion of the tank bottom due to contact of the external tank plate with the soil.

“The resulting soil-side hole could have been prevented by MATCOR’s patented cathodic protection systems. While cathodic protection systems are commonly used in oil and gas storage tanks, they are not mandated and there are tanks across the country that do not have cathodic protection systems installed to protect tank bottoms from leaking.”

Cathodic protection systems are critical for preventing corrosion in ASTs.

Cathodic Protection Systems

The soil-side hole that resulted in the released chemical is a common problem among ASTs. MATOR has developed a reliable protection system for ASTs which uses our unique SPL-Anode system and patented Kynex® technology.

When building and maintaining above ground storage tanks consider the importance of cathodic protection systems. Learn more about MATCOR’s unique cathodic protection system for ASTs or contact us today.

CSB report reveals holes in more tanks at Freedom site,” Charleston Daily Mail, June 16, 2014.

Learn more about AST Cathodic Protection

Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Production Projected to Continue Rising

Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Updates It’s no secret that the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations are generating huge economic boons for the states in which they reside. Even as exploration and production increase in both Pennsylvania and Ohio, future projections show that the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for the region will outpace recent expansions.

A new study by ICF International projects that between the Marcellus and Utica Shale, natural gas production will expand to 34 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day by 2035. This is a 36% growth from the 2014 estimations of 25 Bcf.

Since 2009, the production levels in both the Utica and Marcellus Shale have increased at an exponential rate. These natural gas reserves are vital to the future of American energy independence. These formations, along with the Bakken formation in North Dakota, are driving America’s energy sector forward.

As scientists research the full potential of the formations, technological improvements are drastically changing our ability to recover their stored energy. This increased efficiency is a major factor that is driving up the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) per well.

“The Utica and Marcellus Shale represent some of the most exciting areas of national growth over the next 20 years,” said Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president of engineering at MATCOR. “As production levels grow rapidly, it’s important to plan for the future and build the infrastructure to accommodate the increased capacity.”

“In both regions, as well as the Bakken Formation, corrosion engineering is an important element in public safety and for the protection of significant capital investments. MATCOR’s custom-designed cathodic protection systems ensure that infrastructure is designed to last. We encourage manufacturers in the Marcellus and Utica Shale to build with the future in mind.”

Utica Shale Facts

• The Utica Shale is estimated to be nearly twice as large as it’s more famous neighbor, the Marcellus Shale.
• Through 2015, Ohio is expected to create over 200,000 jobs and add $22 billion to the economy as a result of the Utica Shale.
• The Utica Shale supports 5,000 jobs directly, and almost 13,000 indirectly in the state of Ohio.

Marcellus Shale Facts

• The Marcellus Shale contains an estimated 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Some geologists theorize that it could hold up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which would make it the second largest field in the world.
• The Marcellus natural gas developments contributed $1.1 billion in tax revenue for Pennsylvania in 2010.
• Drilling in the Marcellus Formation has only affected .5% of the land mass in Pennsylvania – just 15,400 acres.

MATCOR, established in 1975, is one of the most experienced providers of corrosion technology. Our engineering and cathodic protection solutions are best in class. Call 800-523-6692 to contact us today.

New Pipeline Announced as Bakken Oil Production Rises

A new pipeline has been announced that will dramatically expand the exportation capacity of oil and natural gas by pipeline to handle increased Bakken oil production out of North Dakota.

Enterprise Products Partners LP proposed the new pipeline on June 24, 2014, which will be the first pipeline to move oil from North Dakota to a storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. The pipeline will be 1,200 miles and have the capacity to transport 340,000 barrels per day.

Enterprise is hoping to succeed where other companies have failed. Since 2012, five companies have proposed pipelines: Enterprise, Enbridge, ONEOK Partners LP, Koch Pipeline Co LP and Energy Transfer Partner. Of those, only pipelines from Enterprise and Enbridge are currently moving forward.

Bakken Oil Production Outpacing Infrastructure

Oil and natural gas production in North Dakota has steadily increased over the past few years, as the current infrastructure supporting this economic boon is struggling to keep up with demand.

Currently, between 60-70 percent of the production out of North Dakota is being shipped by rail. This delivery method is less reliable than pipelines and recent train accidents highlight the dangers of shipping oil by rail.

The pipeline proposed by Enterprise will have the capacity to ship half the crude currently being shipped by rail.

“As production increases in the Bakken Formation, the stress on existing infrastructure becomes immeasurably exacerbated,” said Kevin Groll, director of project management for MATCOR. “The new pipeline project by Enterprise represents an opportunity to expand this infrastructure moving into the future.”

“It is vital that these new pipeline projects take the necessary steps to protect the significant investment in oil pipelines through the implementation of cathodic protection products and services like those offered by MATCOR.”

What Is Cathodic Protection?

Cathodic protection is a technique used to prevent the corrosion of metal surfaces. MATCOR uses a mixed metal oxide anode system that has become an industry standard in cathodic protection.

With Bakken Oil Pipeline, Enterprise Goes Where Others have Failed,” Reuters, June 24, 2014.

Bakken Oil News: June Sees Big Bakken Formation Infrastructure Investment

Bakken Oil News: June Sees Big Bakken Formation Infrastructure Investment
Earlier this month, Summit Midstream announced new investments into vital Bakken formation infrastructure.

In recent Bakken oil news, Summit Midstream Partners LLC announced a $300 million investment in Bakken Formation infrastructure. This prosperous region of North Dakota has rapidly become one of the most vibrant energy producing regions in the United States.

On June 11, Summit Midstream Partners committed to four new projects in the North Dakota counties of Williams and Divide, located in the northwest region of the state. The investment is representative of the swift growth of the Bakken Formation as a national energy leader.

The announced infrastructure projects included 240 miles of new pipelines to be constructed by Tioga Midstream, a subsidiary of Summit Midstream. The new pipelines will originate in Williams County, North Dakota for the transportation of crude oil, water, and natural gas. The development will expand daily shipping capacity to 20,000 barrels of crude oil and 14 million cubic square feet of natural gas.

Additionally, Meadowlark Midstream Co., a subsidiary of Summit Midstream, is working to construct a 47-mile pipeline to service a crude oil storage facility on the Stampede Rail Connection operated by Global Partners LP.

“The crude oil transportation system being developed by Meadowlark further expands our gathering capabilities in the Bakken region, providing our customers with even greater access to refineries and other downstream distribution points on both the East and West Coasts,” said Eric Slifka, president and chief executive officer of Global Partners.

As more oil and natural gas is shipped from the Bakken region of North Dakota, industry safety standard becomes increasingly important. MATCOR, a turnkey cathodic protection design and solutions company, provides solutions to protect vital oil and gas infrastructures.

“With every new investment in Bakken’s infrastructure, the importance of cathodic protection becomes more essential,” said Nick Judd, director of field operations for MATCOR.

“Increased capacity of new pipelines creates a vast network that may be vulnerable to rust and deterioration over time. MATCOR’s patented technology represents the highest quality cathodic protections on the market and we strive to keep this expanding region productive and safe today, tomorrow, and in the future.”

MATCOR is a provider of customized cathodic protection systems across infrastructure industries including oil and gas, water, and power. MATCOR leads the industry in cathodic protection services for detection, diagnosis and prevention of corrosion in pipelines.

Summit Announces $300 Million Plan for Bakken Infrastructure,The Bakken Magazine, June 11, 2014.