Tag Archives: NACE

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.

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

The World Corrosion Organization has designated April 24, 2012 as Corrosion Awareness Day

Corrosion Awareness Day is to highlight the estimated $2.2 trillion annual cost of corrosion worldwide (3 to 4% of GDP of industrialized countries) reflecting in part many decision-makers in industry and government not fully understanding the consequences of corrosion and how critical it is to control it.

However, the potential to reduce that cost by $660 billion annually through appropriate application of existing corrosion abatement technologies is readily achievable through access to and use of highly experienced corrosion professionals, harmonizing standards, along with continuing education and training all underpinned by promoting greater corrosion awareness.

MATCOR is committed to public safety, environmental stewardship and innovation. Our proprietary cathodic protection systems prevent and control corrosion from occuring on expensive infrastructure assets, new and old. In this spirit, MATCOR celebrates Corrosion Awarness Day with the launch of the www.corrosion.co website.

Corrosion Awareness Day Builds upon Earth Day, April 22.
Earth Day highlights the damage to the environment, and impact on people. It also highlights the waste of resources, such as water, resulting from corrosion pipelines, treatment facilities, and process industry equipment.

Learn more about MATCOR at www.corrosion.co

MATCOR introduces the Deep Anode System – Durammo™

The Durammo™ Deep Anode System represents the culmination of 35 years of MATCOR continuous wire deep anode system engineering experience. 

There is simply no better deep anode ground bed system available.  Durammo™ systems are built to last:

  • MMO anode technology offers significantly longer life than comparable conventional discreet anode systems reducing the time between anode bed replacement cycles.
  • Continuous wire anode design provides improved current distribution over the length of the active area when compared to multiple individual anodes.
  • Deep Anode System - Durammo by MATCOR
    Deep Anode System - Durammo by MATCOR

    Dual feed cabling design assures anode system integrity by providing redundant current paths.  No single cabling failure can adversely affect the system performance.

  • All cabling is chemically resistant dual extruded HMWPE/Kynar™ suitable for harsh chloride laden environments.
  • MATCOR’s unique SuperVent™ technology provides clog proof venting that is 25 times more effective than typical All-Vent micro slotted vent pipe.
  • Completely factory assembled and tested the anode system requires no field fabrication and arrives at the site ready to be lowered into place in a matter of minutes.
  • Eliminates the need for a junction box.
  • Dimensionally stable anode results in a consistent ground bed performance over the life of the anode system eliminating frequent changes in rectifier settings to compensate for variable individual anode consumption rates typical of discreet anode systems.
  • Lower weight reduces freight and handling costs.
  • Compact design allows for reduced diameter holes lowering drilling costs and greatly reducing the backfill required.

For more information visit: https://www.matcor.com/index.php?id=232

Stretching, Staffing and Pipeline Integrity Management

Pipeline Integrity Management
People who do not know MATCOR don’t yet recognize how highly qualified we all are in programmed corrosion prevention, and in reporting on the results

According to MATCOR’s Nick Judd, Houston-based corrosion engineer, “The company used to pick up less than 200 miles a year in pipeline integrity management (PIM) projects. Today, we are already doing more PIM; we’re growing to serve much more, and it’s no stretch to say we’ve got the capabilities.”

In deploying a broader range of experience-based capabilities, MATCOR knows that Pipeline Integrity Management is a crucial tool for operators and asset managers who have to do more in monitoring pipeline corrosion and assuring pipeline integrity. Judd maintains that MATCOR is present and accounted for in all the ways that reinforce the corporate theme, “Integrity that Works.”

“Today, everyone we hire is NACE-certified, starting with entry Level 1 and going through succeeding Levels 2 and 3,” he notes. “Our PIM professionals have to be Level 1 at least. We also staff with a mixture of graduate engineers in various disciplines and field-experienced personnel. Then we combine the two so we can go the extra distance for every PIM customer. Both Judd and MATCOR Executive Vice President Glenn Schreffler agree that the company’s personnel have to have both the “book learning” and the field experience to deliver effective PIM services.

“People who do not know MATCOR don’t yet recognize how highly qualified we all are in programmed corrosion prevention, and in reporting on the results,” says Judd.

The foundation is always NACE certification. Why? NACE has known for many years that there’s a need for supporting and reinforcing the integrity in corrosion prevention. NACE standards meet the needs of all segments of the infrastructure industry; they are written and approved by instructors and professors, government officials and regulatory experts, and especially by industry professionals…including some MATCOR experts. Judd maintains, “There need to be levels of testable knowledge leading to certification in corrosion, cathodic protection, and coatings and linings – this is part and parcel of our approach to PIM. So we make certain today that our technicians are NACE-certified by corporate mandate. Our internal OQ disciplines are just as rigorous.” (Judd is one of MATCOR’s Operator Qualification specialists as well.)

Integrity management of pipelines is an organized, integrated and comprehensive process that counters threats to pipeline safety. But as is now plain, PIM is about people. To be successful, MATCOR people not only meet widely recognized PIM standards but are able to apply them meticulously. “In PIM assignments, the crews I send out may have to meet weather challenges, or equipment difficulties – but never problems of applied knowledge or data acquisition or reporting.”

Effective PIM service delivery encompasses every one of the knowledge/data/reporting demands. “We carefully and successfully completed one ECDA (External Corrosion Detection Analysis) project for a very short segment of a customer’s pipelines, notes Judd. “We dotted every i, we crossed every t – we met and exceeded the expectations of the customer’s Corrosion Integrity Manager.”

“Even so, we were still pretty gratified when we got a callback from this customer, an opportunity to do more work, because our job performance was so good. Our new, larger project involves ICDA, (internal corrosion direct assessment), which also means extra computer modeling. I went over the PIM game plan with this customer and noted that we were going to need much more data to ensure success on this newer, large-scale project.”

“The customer agreed to help meet these requirements. And since he knows our data is superbly accurate, he is using the information we collect and analyze to revamp the alignment sheets on a 35-pipeline system.”

“This customer manager also feels that the MATCOR people working on this project understand the delicate differences among some of ‘his’ transportation system elements, which include gap and transmission mains, in-plant systems and distribution lines.”

“And for him – just as we’re doing for everyone now – MATCOR goes the extra distance, ensuring that we turn the data into analyses and report those within 48 hours of receiving the data.”

Whether MATCOR is conducting ECDAs, ICDAs, root cause analyses or ongoing maintenance and repair supervision, every element is documented and reported. So for MATCOR in PIM, there is an additional factor at work. “US Department of Transportation regulators are frequently on our sites,” says Judd, “closely monitoring how we actually conduct these processes and programs. We have an in-depth understanding of their reporting demands and we can use this savvy to help operators pass regulatory scrutiny with flying colors. It is one more level of reassurance – again supported by MATCOR’s multiple levels of experience and dedication to going the extra mile.”

For Judd, none of this is a stretch. His obligation to integrity reinforces the company’s. “Whenever I leave a meeting, I always want to be certain I have said the same things today that I said last year, and will continue to say next year, in terms of commitments made and delivered upon.”

“When MATCOR says, ‘We will do it,’ it’ll get done. Period.”

San Bruno one year on…Consumers will be asked to help pay for billions in gas pipeline upgrades needed after Bay Area blast.

Three of California’s largest utilities are asking customers to help pay for nearly $4 billion in pipeline safety projects needed after last year’s deadly San Bruno disaster.

Power companies and private operators across the nation are racing to improve the safety of about 150,000 miles of natural gas pipelines built before 1970about half of all gas transmission lines in the United States.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which just completed a year long investigation of the San Bruno explosion, found that the older pipelines might be particularly vulnerable and in need of immediate inspection and repair.

To help pay for the work, three main gas suppliers in California have requested rate increases from state regulators. Paul Clanon, executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission, estimated that utility customers could see an increase of 5% to 10% in their bills depending on what commissioners decide.

In a joint proposal, the Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric are seeking rate hikes to pay for $1.75 billion in pipeline improvements by 2015, which would steadily increase monthly utility bills by more than $2.80.

Both utilities have yet to seek rate hikes for an additional $1.25 billion in planned pipeline projects to be completed by 2021.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co, which serves the Bay Area and Northern California, wants to spend $2.2 billion by 2014 to test and improve its 6,000-mile network of natural gas pipelines. The monthly bill for a typical household is expected to rise by about $2, and business customers can expect an increase of about $15.

For many Southern California residents, the proposed hikes are coming on top of $3.2 billion in rate increases sought by Southern California Edison to upgrade its aging electrical grid.

If approved, the plan would result in a 9.1% increase in the monthly bill of the average residential Edison customer. Consumer advocates have opposed the plan, which, they claim, is salted with questionable allocations for pensions and pay raises.

The effort to hike rates to finance pipeline projects could become just as controversial.

Consumer groups, such as the Utility Reform Network based in San Francisco, are reviewing the proposals to determine if the costs and new charges are justified. They can lodge responses with the Public Utilities Commission.

“We want to make sure the utilities pay their fair share,” said Mindy Spatt, a spokeswoman for the statewide organization. “We don’t want them to make a profit on deferred maintenance. They also make high profits. Some of the money needs to come out of that.”

Nationally, the improvements will cost utilities and pipeline operators tens of billions of dollars in the next decade — and that will probably mean more efforts to recover the additional expenses.

“It is fair to assume that the cost will get passed through to consumers,” said Don Santa, chief executive of the Interstate Natural Gas Assn. of America, an industry group of pipeline operators, including large power companies.

Helping to drive the improvements are 29 recommendations issued more than a week ago by the NTSB. They are designed to improve the safety, inspections, emergency plans and regulation of the nation’s extensive grid of natural gas transmission lines.

The recommendations were announced almost a year after eight people died and 38 homes were destroyed when a defective natural gas pipeline built in 1956 ruptured and sent a huge pillar of fire into San Bruno, a Bay Area community.

Board members blamed the inferno on a long history of safety problems at PG&E and weak oversight by state and federal agencies. The utility is also under investigation by the Public Utilities Commission and could face substantial fines, Clanon said.

Regulators and gas industry representatives say various initiatives are already underway by the government, private companies and local utilities to more thoroughly inspect pipelines and repair or replace at-risk sections.

Clanon said that earlier this year, the state Public Utilities Commission ordered all pipeline operators to pressure-test their transmission lines built before 1970.

One of the NTSB’s priorities is elimination of a “grandfathering” clause in federal and state law that has exempted utilities and companies from performing high-pressure water tests on natural gas pipelines built before 1970.

Another key recommendation would require operators to modify their lines to accommodate inspection tools that can run inside a pipe and detect flaws, such as bad welds, cracks and corrosion.

The two methods of testing had been previously opposed by industry groups.

Other recommendations call for automatic and remotely controlled shut-off valves, reviews of regulatory agencies and PG&E’s procedures, better emergency management plans and more thorough record-keeping.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), whose district includes San Bruno, are now proposing legislation to make pressure testing mandatory and to give the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration more enforcement power. Other bills are pending in the California Legislature.

Industry representatives say it is too early to determine the total cost of the national effort to improve the pipeline system. They added that the overall price will depend on the timing of the recommendations and how cost-effective they are.

Oliver Moghissi, president of the National Assn. of Corrosion Engineers International, a professional organization with 27,000 members, said, for example, that he would like to see recommendations that require more pressure testing of older pipelines but on a case-by-case basis depending on conditions and available information on the pipeline in question.

Under a broad mandatory rule, Moghissi said, some pipelines could be tested unnecessarily.

“The goals of the NTSB are commonly recognized,” said Santa of the Interstate Natural Gas Assn. “The question is the means you choose to get there and the pace at which you choose to get there. . . . There can be a lot of devil in the details.”

SOURCE: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-san-bruno-20110909,0,648331.story

Coal scrubbers are corroding

Ohio pollution controls are showing wear after as little as a year.

Coal-fired power plants across the country are being checked for corrosion problems on billions of dollars’ worth of equipment that is supposed to cut air pollution. And the results from three power companies in Ohio show that the  scrubbers are corroding at a much faster rate than was expected.

Coal scrubbers – some 15 stories tall — spray a slurry of water and limestone into coal flumes to capture most of the pollutants before they’re released into the air. The scrubbers cost up to $500 million, and are supposed to last 25 years.

But Akron-based FirstEnergy discovered corrosion in three new scrubbers at its plant along the Ohio River. None of is older than a year.  American Electric Power also found corrosion at four plants in Ohio and West Virginia. And Duke Energy found it at its Southwest Ohio plant.

A national inquiry is now underway by The Electric Power Research Institute.

John Shingledecker is the senior project manager for the institute. He says he’s seen corrosion in as little as 11 months, and in wide variety of scrubbers.

“There was some initial thought that there was only one particular alloy that was being affected,” he said.

“But there are now different types of alloys, some that have been used in the past as well. And we’ve seen it in multiple designs and multiple manufacturers.”

Shingledecker says figuring out the cause of the corrosion could  take two years, and  in the meantime coal-fired power plants can use protective coatings or clay tiles to try to stop the corrosion.

But American Electric Power spokesman Pat Hemlepp says his company’s scrubbers are operating safely.

”We are working with the industry to address what happening. As far as an environmental standpoint, the equipment does what it’s supposed to do,” he said. “The equipment is taken down for maintenance routinely just like the plants are. And we’re doing whatever is necessary during those maintenance periods to take care of the corrosion issue. It’s not a safety issue, it’s not a health issue.”

Hemlepp says the cost of maintaining the scrubbers has already been calculated into customer bills.

The Columbus Dispatch reported this week that AEP negotiated a confidential settlement with, a contractor on the scrubbers to address corrosion at its central Ohio plants.

SOURCE: http://www.wksu.org/news/story/28895