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Corrosive Gases and Microbes

There are many unique environments in the oil field industry where corrosion commonly occurs. Oxygen (O2) , which is a strong oxidizer, is one of the most corrosive gases when present. Other common corrosive gases in the oil field are carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which form weak acids in water. Microbial activity may cause corrosion alone, create more corrosive gases, and/or act to induce blockage within pipes.

Corrosion rates of steel versus oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. Note the different gas concentrations on the x axis.

This page contains links to pages that discuss the effects of these factors, where they commonly occur (such as wells, tanks, separation facilities, and flow lines), what common types of corrosion occur with these present, and some mitigation techniques. Multiple types of corrosion can occur in all these environments, e.g., pitting and galvanic corrosion. For more on the theory and mechanisms for each corrosion type, go to the theory page.

Petroleum Recovery Research Center, Socorro, NM-87801