Tag Archives: Cathodic Protection

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.

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.

Natural Gas Production in the Utica Shale Formation to Expand

Utica Shale Petrochemical Plant

Blue Racer Midstream, a new joint venture, has announced long-term agreements with producers in Ohio and West Virginia that will expand processing capacity in the Utica Shale formation.

Several producers working with Blue Racer Midstream have plans to increase natural gas production through new wells within the year. For new drill sites, cathodic protection for wells prevent long term investments from rusting.

Blue Racer is developing 600 miles of pipeline that will cross 24 counties and will have the capacity to transport over 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.

As companies like Blue Racer Midstream are investing significant assets to extract natural gas from the Utica Shale Ohio region, the need for cathodic protection equipment is paramount.

“Increased natural gas production and capacity in the Utica Shale formation in Ohio and West Virginia regions provides new opportunities for jobs and investment.  Increased domestic production of low cost, clean burning natural gas will lead to new investments in chemical and petrochemical plants in the region as reliable energy sources are extremely important for the chemical processing industry,” said Ted Huck executive vice president, practice lead – plants/facilities, at MATCOR. “With hundreds of miles of new pipeline and the development of next generation of plants and facilities in the region, cathodic protection has never been more vital to protect significant investment in the region.”

What is Cathodic Protection?

Cathodic protection is used to combat corrosion of metal surfaces. MATCOR’s use of mixed metal oxide (MMO) anode cathodic protection has become an industry standard in cathodic protection.

Blue Racer expands its midstream infrastructure,” Vindy.com, March 1, 2014.

Bakken Oil Production Boom Could Result in Greater Cathodic Protection Needs

Bakken Oil ProductionAfter eight years of extensive oil exploration to define the Bakken formation boundaries, oil production companies are ramping up drilling operations to “harvest” the Bakken oil formation.

There are currently more than 10,000 producing wells in North Dakota, with the majority in the Bakken region. The expansion of oil production has grown at an exponential rate and the area will soon be producing 1 million barrels a day.

While there’s currently a well located on nearly all of 8,000 spacing units, there remains plenty of opportunity to increase well density in the region. In 2013, the permit applications were limited to four wells on a single 1,280 acre unit, but the maximum is expected to increase from eight to 20 wells per unit, depending on the local geology.

As oil companies drilling in the Bakken formation continue to increase well density, the region could see another phase of this oil boom.

“The Bakken area has enjoyed great success over the last decade, and with more opportunities for companies drilling in the Bakken oil field, it’s vital that they protect their assets,” said Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president, engineering at MATCOR.

“Protecting future investments from the devastation caused by the corrosion of pipelines and storage tanks is paramount as the Bakken region continues to see expansion of oil production,” said Shreffler. “Cathodic protection is among the most cost effective means and efficient ways to halt corrosion activity.”

In business for almost 40 years, MATCOR specializes in providing customized corrosion engineering and cathodic protection systems to oil and gas industries nationwide.

Oil lands claimed, the focus shifts now to ‘harvesting it,” The Bismarck Tribune, February 25, 2014.

Pipeline Petroleum Transport Investment May Predict Growing Cathodic Protection Needs

If Warren Buffet’s investment strategy is any indication, pipeline efficiency is going to start playing a bigger role in moving crude oil and natural gas in the United States.

The Berkshire Hathaway luminary is pipeline-efficiency-cathodic-protectionspearheading a swap of about $1.4 billion in shares of Phillips 66 for full ownership of the energy company’s pipeline petroleum transport services business. The business unit’s focus is polymer-based additives that are used to move crude oil and natural gas through pipelines more efficiently by reducing drag.

The shift in Berkshire’s investment strategy comes amid a boom in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production. Since many liquids pipelines in the United States are operating at capacity, producers can use the pipeline petroleum transport additive to quickly increase capacity without immediately growing pipeline infrastructure.

Although future pipeline projects may be in the works to meet the sharp increase in demand, the process of gaining approval for new pipeline projects can be slowed by permitting.

A greater reliance on existing pipelines for transporting liquids means that producers and pipeline owners need to pay even more attention to cathodic protection management, according to Kevin Groll, project management director for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in cathodic protection products and services.

“Any time you have pipeline you have to protect it from corrosion,” Groll said. “And that’s especially true when you increase the value of a pipeline by increasing its capacity. If that pipeline were to develop a corrosion problem you’d be facing a situation where your profitability could suffer significantly.”

“With pipeline owners using additives to push greater volumes of liquids it becomes imperative to use cathodic protection products such as impressed current anodes and cathodic protection rectifiers to protect the increased capacity and profitability of the pipeline infrastructure.”

Further Reading

Berkshire Swaps $1.4 Billion in Phillips 66 Stock in Deal,” Bloomberg, December 31, 2013.

Following our success in 2013, MATCOR is expanding by hiring new talent for cathodic protection, corrosion engineering jobs.

MATCOR is a full service provider of customized cathodic protection systems to the oil & MATCOR_Vertical_webgas, power, water/wastewater and other infrastructures industries.  Cathodic Protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making it the cathode of an electrochemical cell.  MATCOR has an array of proprietary cathodic protection products and systems combined with high-quality corrosion engineering services, and installation and maintenance services.

In business for over 40 years, MATCOR is considered the technology leader in cathodic protection and corrosion engineering.  MATCOR is headquartered in Chalfont, PA, has a major service operation in Houston, TX, provides turnkey services throughout the United States, and has a growing list of international distributors.  MATCOR has been named to the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Because of strong continued growth, MATCOR is seeking talented new team members to fill cathodic protection and corrosion engineering jobs.

MATCOR employees and culture are driven by three core principles. Whether a technician, engineer or manager, these principles guide us toward positive relationships with our clients and positive outcomes to every project we undertake.  These core values are:  We Respect Others, We Honor our Commitments and We Act in a Safe and Responsible Way.

“Our cathodic protection and corrosion engineering job openings, from technician to management positions, offer you the opportunity to grow with our team of seasoned cathodic protection experts and become part of a unique culture,” said Doug Fastuca, president of MATCOR, “As we are experiencing tremendous growth and request for our products and service offerings, this is an excellent time to join MATCOR.  In addition to competitive benefits, you can become NACE certified and enjoy other advanced educational opportunities.”

Our ideal job candidates will possess these values and hold a positive attitude.  This is a rapidly growing company with many new career opportunities.  Your cathodic protection, corrosion engineering and management job opportunity is here, today!

View the open position here: http://matcor.applicantpro.com/jobs/

Companies Performing Horizontal Directional Drilling Increase Efficiency, Open Door for More Cathodic Protection

As a result of increased drilling speeds, companies operating horizontal directional drilling sites in the Marcellus Shale region are drilling bigger wells more efficiently and affordably, and are producing more natural gas than ever before.

“Since I came up here three years ago, it’s 200 percent better,” said David Dewberry, who manages a Lycoming County drilling site in Pennsylvania’s Loyalsock State Forest for Seneca Resources Corporation, the exploration and production segment of Houston-based National Fuel Gas Company.

When Dewberry started working in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale in 2010, the oil and gas industry veteran said it took him more than a month to drill a natural gas well. However, improvements to horizontal directional drilling equipment and processes have cut drilling times significantly.

According to Dewberry, a new 2 1/2-mile well project that began on Dec. 4 will be completed in just 16 days. When that’s done, his rig will crawl 20 feet and begin drilling another well, in an assembly-line fashion known as pad drilling, until nine wells are completed on the site.

“We’ve become so much more efficient,” Dewberry said.

Greater drilling efficiency in the Marcellus Shale region has not only yielded longer horizontal wells in shorter times, it’s meant fewer rigs are required to meet, and even exceed, the previous pace of drilling and natural gas extraction. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has officially recognized that drill-rig counts are an obsolete MATCOR's Iron Gophermeasure of output. The administration now relies on drilling speed and production as a way to quantify efficiency.

Of course, an increase in drilling efficiency means more wells are being constructed. And that means companies performing horizontal directional drilling need to invest more in cathodic protection for wells and pipelines, according to Nick Judd, director of field operations for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based company that specializes in cathodic protection products and services.

“The need for managing and preventing corrosion is growing alongside the rush of new wells being drilled in the Marcellus Shale,” Judd said. “The process of hydraulic fracturing used to access the Marcellus Shale requires miles and miles of steel pipeline and every inch of it is subject to corrosion, which can affect the safety, performance, and efficiency of the natural gas well. In addition to wells and pipelines, the transfer piping associated with the gathering fields also requires corrosion prevention. An effective cathodic protection system extends beyond the well casing to include all piping from the casing of the well, to the piping in the pump station, the transfer piping and further downstream.”

“Impressed current anodes and linear anodes for cathodic protection, like our Iron Gopher™, are invaluable tools for horizontal directional drilling companies,” Judd said. “Controlling costs and mitigating issues associated with well and pipeline corrosion are critical factors for insuring the profitability goals of any drilling project.”

Further Reading

Marcellus Shale Drilling Becomes More Efficient,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 16, 2013.

Bakken Shale Oil and Gas Companies Pave Way for Growing Cathodic Protection Demand

More than $22 billion will be spent to build over 23,000 miles of pipeline in North America between 2014 and 2020, according to a recently updated pipeline construction report.

The third-quarter 2013 update of the North American Onshore Pipeline Database Service, by Douglas-Westwood, an energy research group based in Faversham, England, also catalogued the planned construction of over 1,000 miles of pipelines transporting Permian crude oil from the Bakken Shale region.

The Bakken pipelines will enable Bakken Shale oil and gas companies to meet the logistical challenges of transporting crude oil from the remote shale region, which encompasses parts of the United States, including North Dakota and Montana, and Canada.

Because of North Dakota’s short construction season, hard terrain, and distance from the Gulf Coast, rail transportation and natural gas flaring by Bakken Shale oil and gas companies has boomed in recent years. However, the report estimates that the planned Bakken pipelines will further lower the current Bakken discount compared to WTI, which has hovered around $5 for most of 2013, and diminish the cost competitiveness of rail.

“While the capital cost of pipeline installation can sometimes be difficult to justify when compared to rail, a pipeline cathodic protection system can help companies control associated maintenance and repair costs,” said Jeff Didas, who works as a pipelines practice lead for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based cathodic protection management company.

“When the potentially devastating effects of corrosion are managed to the point that corrosion becomes a minor factor, pipelines transform into a far more cost effective option over the 30-plus year commitments typically required in pipeline shipping contracts,” Didas said. “A cathodic protection strategy for pipelines is vital for Bakken Shale oil and gas companies and others who are investing in takeaway infrastructures from shale plays in North America.”

One such area, the Utica Shale, has lagged in production to date compared to other major shale plays but is expected to spike soon, due in part to pending developments in pipeline construction and capacity.

Further Reading

Shale-Driven Pipeline Expenditure to Hit $22B Before 2020,” Oil & Gas Financial Journal, December 12, 2013.

Marcellus Shale Production Data Hints at Growing Cathodic Protection Needs

Production from the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves is expected to exceed 13 billion cubic feet per day this December, nearly seven times the 2 billion cubic feet per day it produced during the same period in 2010, according to a recent report.

The report on Marcellus Shale production data, by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, said the figure would equal about 18 percent of total U.S. natural gas production during the month.

One of the Marcellus Shale companies that’s taking advantage of the natural gas boom is Cabot Oil & Gas Co., based in Houston, which claimed 15 of the 20 highest-producing natural-gas wells in the area during the first half of the year.

According to Dan O. Dinges, Cabot’s chief executive officer, 10 wells from a single well pad in Auburn Township produced enough natural gas in 30 days to meet the average monthly demand of the entire city of Philadelphia.

Cabot plans to increase its Marcellus Shale drill rigs from six to seven in 2013, with each rig capable of drilling 20 wells during the course of the year.

The sharp rise in natural gas reserves production hints at the growing need for Marcellus Shale companies to incorporate pipeline corrosion control equipment like cathodic protection rectifiers into their gas delivery infrastructure, according to Chris Sheldon, who works as utilities practice lead for MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based cathodic protection company.

“Marcellus Shale companies are experiencing a tremendous upswing in natural gas production and are building new drill rigs and digging new wells to take advantage of the vast natural resource at their feet,” Sheldon said. “That means a lot of new pipes are going to be laid. And more pipes means more opportunities for corrosion.”

“At MATCOR, we’re here to help Marcellus Shale companies, as well as other pipeline companies and natural gas producers, with a full line of advanced cathodic protection equipment, systems and services designed to help them meet their corrosion control needs.”

Further Reading

A Marcellus Natural-Gas Bonanza,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 10, 2013.

New Global Cathodic Protection & Corrosion Costs Study Announced By Corrosion Society

NACE International has begun an expansive global study that will examine the cathodic protection and corrosion costs across a variety of industries. The effort will provide research on controlling corrosion-related costs, which will help improve corrosion and cathodic protection strategies. 

NACE International, an international corrosion and corrosion engineering society based in Houston, Texas, has announced the launch of a two-year global cathodic protection and corrosion costs study that will examine the financial and societal effects of corrosion on a variety of industries and provide data about methods for controlling costs related to corrosion.

Industries covered by the corrosion costs study include manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, utilities and government. The study will integrate research from partners in international and regional industry and academia and will be managed by Elaine Bowman, a longtime corrosion industry advocate and former president of NACE International.

“Corrosion is an inevitable, but controllable process which can result in destructive, even catastrophic incidents when not properly prevented and managed,” Bowman said in a press release. “Costs associated with corrosion control include direct expenses like repair and replacement of assets. But there are additional indirect costs like production lost due to closure for repairs or the environmental and physical impact of corrosion-related failures.”

The cathodic protection and corrosion costs study will help asset owners identity ways to save up to 30 percent on costs related to controlling corrosion, Bowman said.

“The NACE corrosion costs study will likely provide invaluable data for us and our customers going forward,” said Ted Huck, who works as the practice lead for plants and facilities with MATCOR, a cathodic protection company that specializes in providing customized corrosion engineering and cathodic protection systems.

“Essential information and comprehensive scientific modeling about corrosion will only improve our understanding of the impact of corrosion on the oil and gas and other industries we serve,” Huck said. “And that means even better corrosion and cathodic protection strategies and tactics for our customers.”

An earlier corrosion costs study in 2001 estimated that the annual direct costs of corrosion in the U.S. was $276 billion. The study, funded by the U.S. Congress with Federal Highway Administration oversight and NACE International support, resulted in the development of a Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO) office within the Department of Defense.

“Quantifying the costs of corrosion is an important effort in educating asset owners to the value of investing in asset life extension technologies such as cathodic protection to provide the lowest total cost of ownership,” said Huck. “Corrosion is a hidden, and often avoidable, cost to asset owners and something that can be mitigated with the appropriate use of current, available technologies.”

The CPO demonstrated a return as high as 40-to-1 on investments for corrosion control programs implemented by the Department of Defense. The 2001 study also resulted in congressional support for the world’s first undergraduate degree in corrosion engineering.

Further Reading

NACE International Commences Global Study on Corrosion Costs and Preventative Strategies,” Press Release, Nov. 14, 2013.