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1 19/01/2021
Corrosion in Oil Refining and Petrochemical Industry

Aging plants, stringent industry standards and an increased focus on safety, encourage the refining and petrochemical industry to move forward on preventing corrosion to save the environment and the economy.

Petroleum refining and petrochemical industry represent a high hazard industry with media which are flammable, explosive, harmful to human and environment. The combination of numerous factors makes refinery equipment very vulnerable to a variety of corrosion phenomena that can lead to serious accidents.

The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of corrosion and metallurgical problems that may occur in petroleum refining and petrochemical industry, also examines techniques and practices that may be used to control corrosion.

The study includes four chapters. The first chapter reviews the basic principles of corrosion, its forms and types. The chapter also reviews the factors affecting the formation of each of these types, and the most important measures that can be taken to reduce the rate of corrosion and minimize its impacts.

The second chapter explains the ways to avoid or control corrosion, such as, selection of corrosion resistant or suitable materials, correct design, use of anti-corrosive chemicals, modify the operating conditions, and change the corrosive environment.

The second chapter also reviews the methods and tools for monitoring and measurement processes through which potential problems can be monitored and acted to curb them and provide valuable information that enables the operator to choose the appropriate methods to control corrosion.

The third chapter includes an introduction to the corrosion management system through which the problems resulting from corrosion can be evaluated according to their degree of importance, the control methods are defined, the analysis of every problem that occurs in the equipment, and its causes can be studied, throughout the entire life cycle. The corrosion management system can also help the operator to avoid resolving corrosion problems in one plant without pushing the corrosion to another plant.

The fourth chapter deals with the types of corrosion problems that occur in each of the main refining processes and utilities, the reasons for their occurrence and the preventive measures that can be taken to reduce its impacts.

The study includes many case studies of corrosion problems that occurred in petroleum refineries in several world regions, and in OAPEC member states and other non-OAPEC Arab countries. These case studies provide lessons learned from the experiences of others in dealing with the problems resulted from corrosion, as each of these cases included a description of the problem and the factors that led to its occurrence, and the solutions and recommendations that were followed to address it and measures taken to avoid its recurrence.

The study ended up with some conclusions and recommendations. The recommendations emphasized on the need for enhancing cooperation between oil research institutes in OAPEC member states to develop advanced techniques that enable the refining and petrochemical industry to solve corrosion problems and mitigate their implications.

The study also calls for creating a joint database in OAPEC member states that provides the possibility of exchanging information about corrosion problems that occur in the refining and petrochemical industry, measures taken for its prevention, and lessons learned from them.