Rates of corrosion depend upon a variety of factors including, but not limited to, temperature, pH, flow rate, and the presence of oxygen or organic acids. However, CO2 is the most common source of general corrosion in oil and gas production. In the presence of water, CO2 forms corrosive carbonic acid. Water condensation often occurs in gas fields if the temperature falls below the dew point, which can be particularly problematic during start-up or shut-in.
Corrosion resistant alloys provide corrosion protection as a result of their chromium content which creates a protective layer. The higher the chromium content, the more effective their protective layer, or corrosion resistance. Under mild conditions, the martensitic stainless steels containing 13% chromium may be adequate, however, if the pH falls below 3.5, higher alloys, such as the duplex stainless steels are recommended. 13% chromium steels should not be used for water injection wells without careful modeling of pH for both current and future well conditions.
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