Tag Archives: Corrosion

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.

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/

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.

Houston Researcher Begins Phase 2 of Corrosion and Cathodic Protection Scale Study

Brine Chemistry Solutions is beginning phase two of a project researching corrosion and scale prediction. The corrosion and cathodic protection study will examine prevention in extreme pressure and temperature environments that could make drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico safer and more productive.

Brine Chemistry Solutions, a Houston-based researcher of water chemistry issues in the energy industry, announced it has begun phase two of a research project that will evaluate corrosion and scale prediction and prevention at extreme pressure and temperature (xHP/HT).

Phase one of the research involved conducting experiments with instrumentation capable of studying corrosion and scale formation at up to 24,000 psi and 250°C (482°F). Phase one produced methodology and data that will be used in phase two to further develop the company’s models.

Phase two will include additional xHP/HT testing of corrosion and scale in additional alloy types and complex brine systems and will screen multiple inhibitors for thermal stability and effectiveness.

Brine Chemistry Solutions will use an autoclave reactor, proprietary flow-through apparatus, and vertical scanning interferometry to focus on kinetics and behavior at xHP/HT while simultaneously studying the thermal stability of inhibitors.

Modeling during phase two will also focus on solvent behavior in electrolytes that have specified chemical properties and will expand to include the quantification of kinetic factors during water-ion and ion-ion interactions. Modeling will incorporate the equation of state based on statistical associating fluids theory.

 “The corrosion and scale research being performed by Brine Chemistry Solutions is good for the Gulf of Mexico,” said Glenn Shreffler, executive vice president, engineering at MATCOR, a  cathodic protection company that specializes in providing customized corrosion engineering and cathodic protection systems to oil and gas and other industries.

“There are a literally hundreds of oil and gas production wells in the gulf but there’s not a lot of data about corrosion and scale in deepwater, extreme pressure and temperature environments,” Shreffler said. “That means this research has the potential to provide a great deal of information, including  predictive models, that will help us help our customers enhance production and improve safety and reliability.”

The corrosion and scale research is part of a larger, $4.5 million project that was awarded to Brine Chemistry Solutions by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America.

SOURCE: http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2013/11/brine-chemistry-solutions-launches-phase-ii-of-research-for-rpsea-project.html

NACE International Moves its Corrosion Certification Programming to the New NACE International Institute

The Institute will support growth and quality of certification for the corrosion control field, improve the business conditions of the industry, and promote public safety, protect the environment and reduce the economic impact of corrosion.

nace-instituteTo comply with IRS rules for certification bodies in the U.S., NACE International has moved its world renowned certification programs to the new NACE International Institute. The Institute’s mission is to support growth and quality of certification for the corrosion control field, to improve the business conditions of the industry, and to promote public safety, protect the environment and reduce the economic impact of corrosion.

“The purpose of the Institute is to operate broadly for the benefit, protection, and preservation of the corrosion engineering and science industry,” said Chris Fowler, President of the NACE International Institute. “This is a unique opportunity to build the profile of the industry and its workforce and also build the job market for corrosion control professionals.”

The NACE International Institute was formed in 2012 to maintain NACE compliance with existing and recently changed U.S. tax laws for not-for-profit organizations that have certification programs. The development of the Institute will also lead NACE’s certification programs toward compliance with the ISO standard for certification bodies (ISO17204).

From the start, the NACE International Institute will focus on meeting industry needs for workforce certification programs, pursuing global consistency of certification requirements, raising industry and public awareness of the purpose and benefits of certification programs, and supporting employment of certified corrosion control professionals. Over time, the Institute will continue to draw more activities into its operations to serve stakeholders based on changing industry needs.

In mid-2013 NACE certification programs will move to the new NACE Institute website at http://www.naceinstitute.org and will maintain the same functionality currently available online at http://www.nace.org, including certification application and renewal, and a tool to search for certification holders worldwide.

“To me, it is always exciting to boost the corrosion control profession for NACE members,” said Fowler, “the growing industry focus on corrosion control knowledge and experience, and related industry certifications, is yet another step toward action that will lower the cost of corrosion for the public at large.”

The members of the NACE International Institute’s Board of Directors are:

Jeffrey Didas – Matcor, Inc.
Dr. Chris Fowler – NACE International Institute President; Exova Group
Helena Seelinger – NACE International Institute Executive Director
Greta Whitsett – NACE International Institute Secretary
Elaine Bowman – Champion Technologies
Bob Chalker – NACE International Executive Director
Dr. Oliver Moghissi – DNV Columbus, Inc.
Frank Rampton – Trenton Corporation

Warding off Corrosion Alaska’s Aging Pipelines – A New Growth Industry

On Tuesday, the University of Alaska-Anchorage held a grand opening for its new BP Asset Integrity and Corrosion Lab. The new facility, made possible by a $1 million gift from BP, expands the university’s mechanical engineering program.

The lab’s birth comes as Alaska’s oil pipeline and the corrosion experts who know how to diagnose and manage it are both aging. It holds promise for both technological innovation and developing a home-grown workforce to keep pipelines in good working order for decades to come.

“Having well-trained engineers on staff that are very familiar with the fundamentals of corrosion is a great step in the right direction,” said Matt Cullin, a mechanical engineer and assistant professor at UAA, who will serve as the lab’s director.

Costly corrosion

The grand opening comes one day after BP’s court-ordered deadline to pay the state of Alaska $255 million for money the state lost in revenue when more than 5,000 barrels of crude oil spilled on the North Slope in 2006, forcing a pipeline shutdown.  The company’s Alaska and national reputation has been tarnished by spills, ensuing lawsuits, and criminal charges – all evidence of greater scrutiny by federal regulatory agencies.

Corrosion-weakened pipes caused the North Slope pipeline failure. The company also had to pay a $20 million criminal judgment and a separate $25 million civil judgment in connection with the spills. When the civil judgment was ordered in May 2011, it was the largest per barrel penalty levied by the Department of Justice to date.

In the years since, BP has spent even more money on its Alaska operations at Prudhoe Bay, the nation’s largest oil field. Replacing the old system that leaked and caused the spills cost upwards of $500 million. The company has tripled the amount it spends each year on corrosion prevention and maintenance – up to $120 million in 2011. It’s renovated other lines and doubled its pipeline inspections to 160,000 per year, 110,000 of which specifically look for corrosion.

“BP has spent the last several years systematically strengthening safety and risk management based on lessons learned from 2006. We have made significant improvements in safety and reliability on the North Slope,” said Dawn Patience, spokesperson for BP.

The $1 million gift to UAA for an Alaska-based corrosion lab offers another investment in the long-term maintenance and management of Alaska’s pipelines.

“This will dramatically increase the capability of integrity testing in Alaska — providing results in a timely manner (and) providing students with the opportunity of hands-on research and internships in multiple industries in Alaska – not just oil and gas,” Patience said.

‘Driving a Pinto’ 

”Corrosion is going to be the biggest single threat to flow assurance in the next century,” according to Cullin, who likens the condition of Alaska’s pipeline infrastructure to an old car. “We’re driving a Pinto around.”

To keep the old car going, you could rebuild it each month to keep everything in working order. But that’s not financially viable. Pipeline management, as with the car, is about striking the right balance, Cullin said.

Preventing corrosion isn’t as simple as replacing a bad alternator. “Every day,” Cullin said, “corrosion is trying to outwit you.”

The trans-Alaska pipeline and the pipelines of Prudhoe Bay that feed it have been in place more than three decades, moving the oil that for decades has largely paid for Alaska’s state government. New pipeline-integrity engineers will continue to be in demand.

In addition to oil and gas, corrosion experts are needed in the aviation, military, shipping, fisheries and water-wastewater industries.

Alaska’s ‘corrosion crime lab’ 

The crown jewel of Cullin’s program is a $250,000 scanning electron microscope capable of making tiny details visible to the human eye. It will be able to detect minute surface changes in sections of pipe, and also identify particles.

“I kind of think of this as the corrosion crime lab for the state of Alaska. It’s kind of like CSI Sherlock Holmes style. We want to track down the root cause of the failure,” Cullin said.

Answering those mysteries could determine if a corrosion problem was due to not enough inhibitor injected into the pipeline, or to a surface film that may have prevented the inhibitor from working, or if the pipeline’s main material was faulty from the start.

The exciting part for Cullin is that it will give all levels of academics the opportunity to get involved – undergraduates, graduates and faculty. The idea is to create a lab where industry-funded research projects take place, and also where state and government entities turn for new information and ideas. Through a “corrosion track” – a series of two courses broken up by field experience over the summer – students in engineering and other relevant disciplines should be able to hit the ground running after graduation, Cullin said.

Cullin expects the corrosion classes will have a lasting impact on his students, something he calls the “corrosion glasses” effect. Regardless of what discipline they enter, he’d like to see them always have an eye out for whether designs or other new ideas adequately account for corrosion control. “I absolutely feel that they will match up to anybody from any other school with their fundamental knowledge about corrosion,” he said.

In addition to cultivating a home-grown work force, there’s another upside for industry: a quicker turnaround on failure analysis when something goes wrong. Instead of packing up parts and sending them to Houston, the material could head to UAA.

“It’s really going to be an all-purpose facility,” Cullin said. His goal is for the lab to become self-sustainable within five years, paying for itself through private or government research projects and possibly renting out time on the new microscope, which other departments have already expressed interest in.

SOURCE: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/warding-corrosion-alaskas-aging-pipelines-new-growth-industry

Alberta’s big small-pipe problem

They are the little brothers and sisters of the pipeline world. Some are barely large enough to jam a hand into, but they do the dirtiest work in the energy business, ferrying great volumes of raw oil and gas from wells to processing plants.

And though they are small, they often carry large risk, an issue of mounting concern in Alberta, a province that has seen a series of spills train a global spotlight on pipeline safety.

These smaller pipes can often be overlooked, next to the big ones that garner attention when they rupture into the Kalamazoo River — an accident that cost Enbridge Inc. a historic $3.7-million (US) fine this week, on top of $725 million in cleanup costs — or at an Alberta pumping station where the company recently had another large spill.

But in Alberta, the pipe is almost all small. Some 327,000 kilometres of pipe that is eight inches and smaller in diameter spread across the province like a network of veins. It is roughly 90 percent of all pipe in the province, a vast web of steel that is uniquely vulnerable to problems, and uniquely difficult to both oversee and maintain.

In large measure, that’s because the stuff those pipes carry is often nasty: impure, unprocessed energy laced with hydrogen sulphide and water and sand, each of which can inflict damage on buried steel. Construction methods of smaller pipes mean they often can’t be monitored and inspected using the best tools. Some of the junior and mid-sized oil and gas companies that run them don’t have the large dedicated inspection teams employed by larger pipeline operators.

Alberta’s energy regulator says problems on small pipes often lead to small spills, dampening the need for concern.

Alberta’s oil and gas regulator, the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), noted in a 2007 report that “most of Alberta’s pipeline infrastructure is used for the production of raw oil and gas, which by nature can be highly corrosive.” It said corrosion has been growing as a problem — from 63 percent of all leaks and ruptures in a 1998 report to 70 per cent less than a decade later.

And though overall accidents have been declining, last year Alberta saw 1.5 failures per 1,000 kilometres of pipe — or nearly 500 on its length of small lines. That’s down from an average in previous years of 3.5. Many of those spills are small — all leaks, regardless of size, get reported. But the ERCB also doesn’t record spills at pipeline facilities, like pumping stations, where many of them happen. That makes its numbers tough to compare with other jurisdictions.

The risks on small pipes are magnified by the low flows on stretches that might carry intermittent volumes of product from, say, oil tanks to a processing plant. When flow is slow or stopped, water and hydrogen sulphide are better able to corrode pipe. Sediments can also deposit, creating a mud where microbes can begin to eat away steel.

The ERCB played down the effect of corrosive products, which tend to create “pitting corrosion” that leads to “small volume spills (small leaks) that are not a significant safety hazard because they do not catastrophically rupture,” spokeswoman Cara Tobin said in an e-mailed statement.

(Although small pipes can lead to big spills: In December, 2011, 12,000 barrels spilled from a small Pengrowth Energy Corp. line, while 5,000 barrels leaked from a small Pace & Oil Gas Ltd. well pipe in May). The regulator requires surveillance of pipeline right-of-ways, corrosion evaluations, yearly inspections of water crossings and “continues to review and update its regulations and requirements to improve all aspects of pipeline performance,” she said.

Plus, industry has ways to combat corrosion. Pipes can be protected with MATCOR’s “cathodic protection,” products which uses electric current to counteract corrosion.  Cathodic Protection is mandatory in Alberta. They can also be chemically shielded from corrosion, and maintained with pigs, devices that travel inside the pipe, either to scrub it or detect areas of weakness.

But small pipe is often the hardest to “pig.” Worldwide, roughly a third of all pipe is not piggable. Alberta’s ERCB has no figure on what percentage of its pipe cannot accept pigs — and pigging is not required — but it’s likely to be large. Alberta’s pipeline system is made up of an enormous number of very short lengths, averaging just 1.6 kilometres long.

SOURCE: http://www.bnn.ca/News/2012/7/4/Albertas-big-small-pipe-problem.aspx

 

Corrosion likely culprit in roof collapse

The partial collapse of a shopping mall roof last weekend was likely the result of a combination of factors the most likely cause was corrosion of the reinforced concrete, said Mark Green, a Queen’s University engineering professor.

On Saturday afternoon a section of the roof at the Algo Centre Mall (Kingston, Ontario) collapsed.

A section of roof about 12 metres by 24 metres fell.

The roof supported a parking lot and at least two vehicles fell into the mall when the roof came down. Because the roof served as a parking lot, corrosion could have been an even greater issue because of the salt used to clear the surface of ice during winter.

Green said it was also possible that the design of the building may have included an aspect that made it more susceptible to collapse.

Twenty-two people were injured in the collapse.

Police also said at least 30 were missing.

In 2010, mall owners Eastwood Malls Inc. spent about $1 million to repair leaks in the roof that had been ongoing for several years.

But hints of a catastrophic collapse may have been easily overlooked, Green said.

“The warning signs may not have been that obvious,” he said.

In April 2010, a section of the parking garage at Confederation Place hotel in Kingston collapsed, damaging about 20 vehicles and closing the hotel for several days for repairs.

In 2006 a bridge in Laval collapsed, killing five people. That bridge had been inspected shortly before it fell, Green said

That bridge collapse prompted inspections of other bridges in Quebec and Green said he expects buildings similar in age and design to the Algo Centre to undergo additional inspections in the coming weeks.

On Monday a small piece of concrete fell off the Gardiner Expressway hitting a car below.

SOURCE: http://www.thewhig.com/2012/06/25/corrosion-likely-culprit-in-roof-collapse-expert