LUX Assure has introduced CoMic™ - an innovative corrosion management solution.
CoMic™ is designed to provide an immediate indication of whether the optimal amount of corrosion prevention chemicals are present within oilfield fluid as it passes through the infrastructure. The project is supported by major North Sea operator ConocoPhillips and the UK Government Technology Strategy Board (TSB) project.
Emma Perfect managing director and chief scientific officer of LUX Assure said, "Corrosion management has attracted ever increasing attention due to a number of high-profile failures. Preventing corrosion is a costly business and infrastructure is increasingly subject to corrosion stresses; risk assessment strategies and integrity management programs have therefore gained greater importance."
LUX Assure is primarily concerned with the problem of internal corrosion and the use of corrosion inhibitors. Chemical inhibitors are widely used to mitigate corrosion, but their use is generally considered costly since treatment requires continuous injection or regular batching because of the large volumes of product constantly flowing through the pipeline.
Suboptimal dosing allows for corrosive attack and can lead to long-term loss of integrity and in the worst cases breaches. Over-dosing is costly, in terms of both chemical spend and the logistics of transportation and handling, furthermore overdosed inhibitors can lead to problems with separation as well as environmental damage.
Applying the optimal corrosion inhibitor dosage is therefore of great importance. Traditionally corrosion inhibitor concentration levels are monitored by regular fluid sampling and lengthy laboratory analysis taking days or weeks, by which time the infrastructure may have been subject to significant corrosive attack.
CoMic™ has been developed by LUX Assure to eliminate the delay in laboratory analysis by providing real time data on whether the optimum level of corrosion inhibitor is present in the fluid.
Adapted from nanotechnology and bioscience applications, CoMic™ is designed for use with film forming corrosion inhibitors; surfactant based molecules which protect infrastructure from corrosion by coating internal surfaces with a water repellent film. Surplus corrosion inhibitor migrates to the fluid phase where it forms aggregates called micelles.
The principle behind CoMic™ involves the detection of such micelles. By monitoring the presence of these micelles, CoMic™ can provide information on whether a system has been dosed with sufficient corrosion inhibitor. Unlike residual monitoring it therefore provides information on the protection of a system.
CoMic™ exploits the use of markers which associate with these micelles in an approach which involves adding, and dispersing, markers in the oilfield or pipeline fluid. LUX Assure's preferred markers have fluorescent signatures which vary depending on the environment; a change may be observed in the emission spectra, intensity, lifetime or other fluorescent property of the marker. This is akin to fluorescent dyes used in the life sciences for labeling different organelles.
Ms. Perfect continued, "By drawing inspiration from life-sciences, where there has been a recent expansion in methods available for the monitoring of chemicals and particles in complex fluids such as blood, our team has devised novel solutions to a range of problems affecting the oil and gas industry."
LUX Assure's product portfolio enables its partners in the oil and gas industry to dose production chemicals more effectively and efficiently. Ensuring these chemicals are applied at optimal concentrations prevents over-use, cuts costs and mitigates environmental risks. LUX Assure technologies are suitable for both offshore and onshore use and for applications in production, processing, transportation and storage.
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