Category Archives: MATCOR

Legislation Vital for Corrosion Protection of Public Infrastructure

On June 3, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WWRDA) was presented to President Obama after passing with bi-partisan support through both houses of Congress. Typically, the WWRDA is reauthorized every few years, but this marks the first time the legislation has been passed since 2007. This important legislation will fund infrastructure improvements to public water resources, including the implementation of corrosion protection to water pipes.

The WWRDA will also dramatically increase investment in U.S. public water infrastructure. In states like New Jersey, where the average age of underground water pipes is more than 70 years, this bill will go a long way to prevent the degradation and corrosion of invaluable national assets. The reauthorization will also lead to thousands of stable jobs, helping the long-term health of state economies across the nation.

NACE International, the world’s foremost professional organization in the corrosion control industry, lauded the bill for providing instrumental support and recommendations for the Army Corps of Engineers to advance key corrosion control measures in national infrastructures.

“This legislation provides businesses, Federal agencies, and the American public with clarity that there will be improvements to our waterway infrastructure for the foreseeable future,” said Bob Chalker, Chief Executive Officer of NACE International. “This is an important step forward.”

Cathodic Protection by Corrosion Engineering Experts

As water resources and infrastructure age, they fall at risk to the effects of corrosion. MATCOR, a Pennsylvania-based company specializing in cathodic protection products and corrosion engineering services, said it appreciated the steps taken by Congress to ensure the safety and viability of public pipelines.

“The passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act is a great step for public infrastructure in the US,” said Jeff Didas, pipelines practice lead for MATCOR. “In order to maintain the integrity of the public infrastructure in the United States, we must stay vigilant to prevent the constant threat of corrosion and wear.”

“NACE International is a global leader in corrosion prevention and we stand with them in congratulating Congress for passing this monumental piece of bipartisan legislation,” Didas said.

MATCOR provides a full range of corrosion protection services. Our staff of NACE certified specialists are experts in corrosion engineering and cathodic protection products. MATCOR leads the industry in cathodic protection services for detection, diagnosis and prevention of corrosion in pipelines.

Corrosion engineering can provide solutions to handle a full range of corrosion problems and unique situations. MATCOR has a suite of proprietary cathodic protection products and systems. Cathodic protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface through the application of electric current.

NACE International Applauds House and Senate Passage of Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation,” press release, May 22, 2014.

New Marcellus Shale Pipeline Projects

The Marcellus Shale, an enormous natural gas reserve in Appalachia, is dramatically altering the traditional landscape of America’s natural gas industry.

Stretching across almost 100,000 square miles, the Marcellus Shale is the largest natural gas supply in the U.S. and second in the world. The depth and width of the Marcellus Formation vary, but studies indicate the shale’s deepest and thickest points are located in northeastern Pennsylvania, making it a prime area for drilling.

Estimates of the amount of recoverable natural gas in the reserve have varied over the years. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Marcellus Shale produced 3.9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable natural gas in 2013– accounting for 18% of the country’s natural gas. In August 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated the Marcellus shale will ultimately generate a total of 84 TcF of technically recoverable natural gas, a massive jump from its 2002 prediction of two trillion cubic feet.

Pipelines Under Pressure

As the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas production increases, so does the need for an efficient, modern, sophisticated pipeline system to transport the natural gas to various regions around the country. In 2012, Marcellus’ booming natural gas output caused pipelines to bottleneck. Such high load conditions inflict stress on pipelines essential to the country’s natural gas delivery system.

The following year, pipeline constraints were a major contributing factor to exorbitant natural gas prices in the Northeast region. The rest of the country was not exposed to the increased costs due to adequate pipelines with few constraints.

To help alleviate stress on current infrastructures, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved three pipeline projects in February 2014. The projects include Texas Eastern’s TEAM 2014 Project, Williams’ Constitution Pipeline, and Iroquois Pipeline’s Wright Interconnect Project. All three projects have in-service dates slated for 2015-2016.

Texas Eastern’s TEAM 2014 Project

Spectra Energy’s Texas Eastern Appalachia to Market Expansion 2014 (TEAM 2014) Project will add approximately 33.6 miles of 36 inch diameter pipeline loop to the existing Texas Eastern Transmission, increasing the existing system’s capacity by approximately 600 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). Once complete, the Texas Eastern system will deliver natural gas from Appalachia to the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest and Gulf Coast regions. The technologically advanced TEAM 2014 Project will be optimized for bidirectional flow.

Williams’ Constitutional Pipeline

The Constitution Pipeline is expected to measure 124 miles and have a diameter of 30 inches. The pipeline will transport natural gas from the Marcellus shale in northern Pennsylvania to areas in the northeastern U.S. It will have the capacity to transport 650 MMcf/d, fulfilling the daily needs of 3 million homes. The Constitution will be an “open access pipeline,” allowing local municipalities and public utility services to access the line.

Iroquois Pipeline’s Wright Interconnect Project

Iroquois’ Wright Interconnect Project (WIP) will work in tandem with the Constitutional Pipeline. Unlike the other projects approved by FERC, WIP is not a pipeline. It will update and expand Iroquois’ current compression facilities located in Wright, New York. The terminal will connect the Constitution to the Iroquois and Tennessee Gas Pipelines, facilitating the delivery of natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Play to New York and New England.

The Importance of Cathodic Protection

Propane storage tanks at MarkWest Energy Partners’ Houston fractionation and marketing complex in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Propane storage tanks at MarkWest Energy Partners’ Houston fractionation and marketing complex in Washington, Pennsylvania.

While the Marcellus Formation continues to produce high levels of natural gas, it is imperative that the operators for newly approved pipeline projects, as well as existing pipelines, storage tanks, and associated facilities take appropriate steps to protect their assets. Corrosion of metal surfaces is one of the most common and dangerous threats to midstream infrastructures. Cathodic protection is the most effective method of protecting against corrosion.

According to John Rothermel, Vice President of Sales at MATCOR, the leading cathodic protection company with expertise in protecting oil and gas pipelines from corrosion, the companies behind the Marcellus pipeline projects can’t afford not to protect their assets.
“As long as the Marcellus Shale continues to produce such unprecedented amounts of natural gas, the midstream infrastructure needed to get product to market will likely be running at full capacity, making it essential that these facilities operate reliably, efficiently and safely,” Rothermel said. “Designing and installing cathodic protection of pipelines into these projects helps to protect the significant investments being made, and helps to ensure these assets last well into the future.”

“Giant Marcellus shale coming of age” The Bismarck Tribune, March 20, 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/

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.

MATCOR Offers Take on Natural Gas Liquids Production and NGL Transportation

“There is much discussion about the abundance of natural gas deposits in Marcellus Shale, and there is tremendous focus in extracting this precious resource. However, the industry’s ability to get this product to the end user is impacted by the infrastructure that currently exists.

“While rail is a means to transport natural gas, MATCOR is working with a growing number of midstream companies in expanding transmission and distribution piping networks. The key is to get product to market in a cost-effective and safe manor, and MATCOR’s cathodic protection products and services help ensure any new pipeline, regardless of the product it delivers, is in compliance and protected from corrosion.”

John Rothermel, PE

Vice President of Sales, MATCOR

Pipelines Planned for NGL Transportation Through Central Pennsylvania

At least one company is looking to take advantage of the rapid growth of natural gas liquids production from two of the largest shale regions in the nation.

Sunoco Logistics, a Philadelphia-based company that transports, terminals, and stores crude oil and refined petroleum products, recently announced that it was surveying land for a new pipeline, dubbed Mariner II East, that would connect production of natural gas liquids (NGL) from the Marcellus and Utica  shale regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to one of the company’s oil and diesel tank farms outside of Mechanicsburg.

The company also has plans to convert its existing Mariner East I pipeline, which used to carry oil and diesel fuel west, so that it carries propane and ethane east to its facility in Marcus Hook, which had also been idled.

The company bought the refinery from the former Sunoco Co. earlier this year for $60 million and is spending an unspecified amount of money to upgrade it and bring it back online as a natural gas liquids production refinery.

Sunoco Logistics is betting on the continued growth of natural gas production, of which NGLs like propane and ethane are byproducts. Natural gas production has increased in recent years thanks to hydraulic fracking, which has resulted in a larger supply that has driven prices down and has therefore, like a circle, created bigger demand for natural gas.

As a result of this process, NGL production has climbed during the last four years from 50 million to 70 million barrels per month. But, without greater avenues for NGL transportation, the increased production is moot.

Sunoco Logistics says that its plan to build a new NGL transportation pipeline, and convert an old pipeline for NGL transportation, will help create a northeast NGL hub in Marcus Hook that will help meet the demands of NGL producers and local and overseas consumers.

The Mariner East projects are only a few of the pipelines being planned by Sunoco Logistics. The company has roughly a dozen oil and gas projects on the books over the next 12 months at a cost of $1.3 billion, four times what it spent on capital expenditures each of the last four years.

MATCOR offers cathodic protection safety products and services to companies like Sunoco Logistics, which require cathodic protection equipment to maximize safety, efficiency, and capital investment in their pipeline projects.

Further Reading

Sunoco Logistics Plans Marcellus, Utica Pipeline Through Susquehanna Valley,” The Patriot News, Nov. 21, 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

State regulators clear way for Florida Power and Light natural gas pipeline

A proposed $3.5 billion natural gas pipeline took a leap forward last Thursday and by 2017 is expected to be providing fuel to run Florida Power and Light Co.’s plants.

Florida’s two pipelines, the Florida Gas Transmission pipeline, and Gulfstream pipeline deliver gas primarily from such offshore areas as the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline’s northern 465 miles is a joint venture of Houston-based Spectra Energy subsidiary Sabal Trail Transmission and a newly formed subsidiary of Florida Power and Light’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc., called U.S. Southeastern Gas Infrastructure LLC. The southern 126 miles, known as Florida Southeast Connection, is a subsidiary of NextEra.

The pipeline will travel through four Alabama counties, eight Georgia counties and 13 Florida counties. It will end at Florida Power and Light’s Martin County plant near Indiantown. The new pipeline will connect to FPL’s new plants under construction in Riviera Beach and Hollywood.

Commissioner Eduardo Balbis said the pipeline will help mitigate supply interruptions and price fluctuations. It’s also a plus that the cost is $450 million below that of other options.

The project is projected to create more than 6,600 jobs.

Jeff Householder, president of Florida Public Utilities Co., said the additional gas supplies, especially the cheaper shale gas, are needed for the state’s growth and economic development. He expects his company and others will build lateral lines from the pipeline.

Florida Power and Light has signed agreements with the two entities that will own the new pipeline for an initial 400 million cubic feet per day beginning in 2017 with an option for an additional 200 million cubic feet in 2020 and later.

Florida Gas Transmission’s pipeline has a capacity of 3,100 million cubic feet per day, and Gulfstream’s pipeline has a capacity of 1,300 million cubic feet per day

The project approved Thursday differs from a proposal the PSC rejected in 2009 when Florida Power and Light sought to build the 280-mile Florida EnergySecure Line itself.

The pipeline must be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other federal and state agencies. It would give the state 25 percent more natural gas capacity.

SOURCE: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/state-regulators-clear-way-for-fpl-natural-gas-pip/nbXkw/