December 2006

Loss Prevention

Avoid equipment failure with erosion prediction tools

Advanced computational fluid dynamics models can accurately simulate corrosion incidents for processing equipment

Agrawal, M., Chilka, A., Schowalter, D., ANSYS, Inc.; Russell, R., Baker Oil Tools

Erosion of oil and gas equipment is becoming a significant financial burden on both the upstream and the downstream sectors of the petroleum industry. For example, erosion was the failure cause at an oil refinery in Humberside, UK, in 2001. In this case, erosion and corrosion caused a 15-cm-diameter pipe to rupture. The released liquid petroleum gas exploded and sparked a fire that caused other pipes to fail, leading to yet another explosion. After burning for two and a half hours, there were no serious injuries. However, significant damage to process equipment and buildings both on- and offsite were encountered. The operator was fined £895,000, which did not include the internal costs

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