Category Archives: MATCOR

PHMSA Rule Making Updates – a look at what is ahead on the US Regulatory Front

Overall
The US Pipeline regulatory environment is poised to see several new rules implemented to expand the scope and effectiveness of pipeline regulations with a goal to improve the integrity and safety of hazardous material pipeline. These rule changes were all initiated years ago and have been winding their way through the regulatory process, soliciting input from the industry and from concerned citizens, environmental groups and other interested parties.

The Liquids “Final Rule”
In January of 2017 in the last few days of the Obama Administration, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule amending its Rule 49 CFR 195 that among other things expanded integrity management and leak detections beyond high consequence areas (HCA’s). The Final Rule tightened standards and broadened data collection and monitoring requirements for pipeline operators. A few days into the Trump administration, the White House issued a directive to federal agencies to freeze sending new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and withdrawing any regulations sent to the OFR. Thus the liquids “Final Rule” that was 6 years in the making was withdrawn and is awaiting resubmittal by the new administration.
While the exact requirements of the Final Rule may be changed, some of the key changes from the withdrawn rule included:

• Assessment of non-HCA pipeline segments every 10 years in compliance with provisions of 49 CFR Part 195.
• Increased use of inline inspection tools for all hazardous pipelines in HCA.
• Requirement for leak detection systems for covered pipelines in both HCA and non-HCAs.

PHMSA anticipates coming out with their revised “Final Rule” in the Fall of 2018.

The Gas “Mega Rule”
On the gas side of the pipeline regulatory environment, 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192, several public meetings have been held regarding PHMSA’s proposed gas rules, often referred to as the Gas Mega Rule. The rulemaking changes originally recommended would have nearly doubled the current number of pages in the regulations. PHMSA has announced that instead of one Mega Rule, the effort would be broken into three separate rules that are expected to be introduced in 2018 and to go into effect in 2019. Part 1 addresses the expansion of risk assessment and MAOP requirements to include areas in non-High Consequence Areas (HCAs) and moderate consequence areas (MCAs.) Part 2 of the rule making focuses on the expansions of integrity management program regulations including corrosion control to gathering lines and other previously non-regulated lines. Part 3 of the gas rule making is expected to focus on reporting requirements, safety regulations and definitions to include expanding into related gas facilities associated with pipeline systems.

Anode Current Ratings and Soil Resistivity

We appreciate the question: “How does soil resistivity impact current rating.”  The short answer is that resistance has nothing to do with anode rating. Here is a more detailed response:

  1. Anode current rating – all anodes have a current rating based on how long they can be expected to operate at a given current rating.  All anodes have some defined expected life based on current output and time – so many Amp-Hours of service life.  For example a magnesium anode may have an expected consumption rate of 17 lb/Amp-year (7.8 kg/amp) so if a 17 lb anode is operated at 0.1 amps it would have a life of 10 years.  For MMO anodes, they too have an expected life.  For our linear anode rated at 51 mA/m it is important to know that that rating is actually 51 mA/m for 25 years.  So a 100m anode segment with this rating would have an expected life of 127.5 Amp-years.  If this anode were operated at 5.1 amps (full rated capacity) it would be expected to operate for 25 years.  IF it were operated at 2.55 amps (50% of rated capacity) it should last 50 years.  The anode life is generally linear.  Please note that resistance has nothing to do with the anode current rating – the anode current rating merely calculates the life of the anode as a function of how many amps for how long of time.
  2. Actual current output – just because you install an anode rated for 5.1 amps for 25 years (our 100m segment of 51 mA/m SPL-FBR) does not mean that the anode will output this amount of current.  It just means that at that current rating you can expect 25 years of life.  The anode is merely one component of the overall cathodic protection circuit.  The actual output of the anode is function of Ohms Law ( Voltage = Current * Resistance).  It would make sense to note that if the system Voltage were zero (the rectifier were turned off or disconnected) then the anode would not have any current output.  Likewise if the 100m anode segment were installed in a very low resistance environment and driven by a powerful rectifier, the current could be much higher than 5.1 amps which would result in a much shorter life.
  3. Why anode rating is important to the CP designer – the CP designer is tasked with protecting a specific structure for a given period of time (protect this pipeline for 30 years.)  The CP designer then calculates, based on actual testing or established guidelines, the amount of current that should be sufficient to achieve appropriate CP levels to protect the structure.  This results in an answer of some number X of amps required.  If the requirements are to protect the structure for Y number of years, then the anode life required is X * Y (# of amps times # of years).  This defines the minimum amount of anode life that is needed.
  4. The next question the CP designer must address, once it is determined how much current is needed, is how to design a system that will generate that amount of current.  Since Ohms Law dictates that Voltage = Current * Resistance (V=IR) then if we know that the Current = Voltage/Resistance (I=V/R.)  Thus the CP designer must understand how to calculate system resistance (R) and must provide sufficient driving force (V)  Several factors affect system resistance (R) including anode geometry – the longer an anode, the lower its resistance – which in many applications is a big benefit to the linear anode.  One of the great benefits of the linear anode is that because of its length, in most applications the soil resistivity plays a lesser role since the anode resistance to earth is generally low for a wide range of soil resistivities due to its length.  For extremely high resistance environments, linear anodes may be the best option since short anodes will not have a low enough resistance.
  5. There are other factors that go into CP design including current distribution and making sure sufficient current is being applied across the entire structure.

CP Design can be very complicated.  I hope that the above explanation is helpful, but if there is a specific application to evaluate, please contact us with the details.  We are also available, for a reasonable engineering fee, to develop and/or review CP system designs.

Ted Huck

VP, Technical Sales

MMO Anode Technology: The latest in Cathodic Protection

MMO anode technology has taken over the cathodic protection industry and MATCOR has been on the forefront for the last 20 years. Ted Huck, our VP of International Sales was interviewed at the recent NACE Corrosion Conference. In this video he discusses MMO anode technology for cathodic protection systems and the importance of reliable anode to cable connections.

MMO Anode Technology

MMO anodes, or mixed metal oxide anodes are the latest technology in the corrosion industry. Mixed metal oxide anodes are lightweight and durable with a very low consumption rate. 

MMO anodes are a mix of metal oxide electrocatalysts. In the presence of a DC voltage source they cause an electrical reaction that generates cathodic protection current. Unlike conventional impressed current anodes that physically consume as part of the cathodic protection reaction (at rates measured in kg/amp-year), MMO anodes are dimensionally stable and do not consume. Instead, they have a long and predictable catalytic life. MMO anodes consist of a thin coating of the MMO catalyst over an inert lightweight titanium substrate and are available in a wide range of shapes and configurations.

Why Cathodic Protection Systems Fail

Waterproof Anode to Cable Connection to protects MMO anode cathodic protection systems
Kynex® Patented, Waterproof Anode to Cable Connection

The most critical component to any cathodic protection anode system is the connection of the anode to the cable that runs back to the power supply. Because the cable is part of the anode system, if it has any nicks or defects or is not water tight, that cable can become part of the anode and will very quickly consume. When that happens, the anode fails. So, with cathodic protection systems it is imperative to have the highest quality connections.

Typically, when a cathodic protection anode system fails, it is not the anode that fails, it is the anode connection that fails. MATCOR has developed a proprietary technology for connecting wire anodes to cable, called Kynex®. Wire anodes are the heart of a lot of our products and this proprietary anode technology is a huge leap forward in the reliability of these connections.

Cost-effective, Reliable Cathodic Protection Solutions

At the end of the day, for our clients, it’s all about delivering value. It’s providing a cost effective solution that’s going to serve them for a very long time. As a designer and manufacturer of cathodic protection anode systems, we are able to specifically address client needs with customized corrosion prevention solutions that provide:

  • Long life
  • Great economic value
  • Superior reliability

MATCOR Products and Services

MATCOR is one of the world’s leading cathodic protection companies. We design, manufacture, install and service cathodic protection systems for clients worldwide. MATCOR provides services to the pipeline, midstream and oil & gas industries, protecting assets such as pipelines, storage tanks, and compressor stations. We also do a lot of work in the power industries, petrochemical, and chemical industries. Anywhere where you have buried steel structures, we are there to stop corrosion.
We encourage you to contact MATCOR through our website where our corrosion specialists and engineers can provide a solution tailored to your needs.

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.”

ABOUT MATCOR

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.

Contact a Corrosion Expert

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.

READ THE COMPLETE PROFILE

About MATCOR

MATCOR is a BrandSafway company. In business since 1975, MATCOR provides services and products that solve corrosion problems globally for major infrastructure assets such as oil, gas and water pipelines, above ground storage tanks, power plants, energy facilities, well casings and steel-in-concrete structures. MATCOR is a turnkey ISO 9001:2015 certified provider of customized cathodic protection products and systems combined with high-quality corrosion engineering, installation and maintenance services. The company maintains specialized CIS (close interval survey) teams and a large fleet of construction equipment. MATCOR’s manufacturing plant is located in Chalfont, PA, USA, and the company maintains field service and sales offices in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Georgia and Western Pennsylvania, in addition to a growing list of international distributors.

More About MATCOR

MATCOR, Inc. Acquired by Brand Energy & Infrastructure

Chalfont, PA (Mar 9, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc., the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions, announced last week that the company has been 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.

“This is an exciting time for MATCOR as we celebrate 40 years in business and move into a new chapter for the company,” said Douglas Fastuca, President of MATCOR. “Under the ownership of Brand and our new relationship with CP Masters, MATCOR is in an excellent position to better serve its customers in the US and internationally.”

About MATCOR

About Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services

Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services is a premier provider of integrated specialty services to the global energy, industrial and infrastructure markets. Its extensive portfolio of specialized industrial service offerings includes cathodic protection, work access, coatings, insulation, refractory, formwork & shoring, specialty mechanical services, and other related crafts. Brand delivers its services through a network of more than 240 branches, with a particular focus on the major hydrocarbon and power generation markets globally. For additional information visit www.beis.com.

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.