Avoid Loss of Containment in Underground Gas Storage Applications Using Continuous Corrosion Monitoring

by | Dec 9, 2021 | Digital Transformation, Measurement Instrumentation, Oil & Gas

William Fazackerley

Senior Global Product Engineer, Corrosion & Erosion Solutions

Particularly during the winter season energy demands can peak, which requires high volumes of gas to be brought to the transmission network quickly. Gas is stored in underground caverns or reservoirs allowing a high volume of storage to meet the high demand particularly in the winter months. Undesirable solids, retrieved due to the high velocity required, can damage pipework and fixed equipment, potentially resulting in loss of containment or more severe incidents. Monitoring for corrosion during the retrieval is a cost-effective way of ensuring safety to personnel and the environment whilst maintaining the high utilisation demanded by the gas network.

 

Underground Gas Storage

Maintaining the balance between operational certainty through high utilisation, and the risk of loss of containment from solids damaging fixed equipment is a challenge. Walking this tightrope is made easy with continuous corrosion monitoring solutions.

Challenge

Network operators looking to maximise their utilisation are unknowingly running their fixed and rotating equipment at a limited capacity, as they try to manage the risk of loss of containment. Operators can be fined for not delivering the required quantity of gas to the network, meaning that it is a constant battle to deliver whilst avoiding unplanned downtime.

 

Solution

Monitoring the risk and impact of corrosion and erosion using sensors is cost effective and improves safety in the facility, whilst reducing potential leaks into the environment. Operators can have peace of mind that the facility is operating safely, whilst meeting required utilisation levels.

 

Roxar SAM and Rosemount 4390 Series Wireless Transmitter inform on the risk of damage to the equipment in real time.

 

Monitor Risk

Emerson’s Roxar™ Sand Acoustic Monitor (SAM) measures the quantity of solid particles in the flow. Attached using a strap, the SAM gives continuous indication of solids content in the fluid, alerting operators in the control room when a threshold is reached through an alarm system. Inline probes supported by the Rosemount™ 4390 Series Wireless Transmitter provide live readout of fluid at the operators’ desk to give a live readout of the risk to the fixed equipment.

 

 

 

Rosemount Wireless Permasense sensors are non-intrusive and measure the thickness of piping and other equipment

 

Monitor Impact

Emerson’s Rosemount Wireless Permasense technology includes a range of non-intrusive sensors for any material and temperature, offering quick and easy deployment of wireless wall-thickness sensors. These solutions deliver wall thickness readings, quantifying the actual amount of metal loss at the pipe wall without needing to stop the process. Data is retrieved wirelessly and visible at the operator’s desk.

 

 

Planning for the Future

Gathering such volumes of data is useful not only for live monitoring of the health of the plant, but also for informing on the future. Operators can seamlessly gather, store, and share solids production risk and erosion impact across key decision makers to enhance storage and retrieval operations in the future. Engines, pumps, and chokes are also heavily affected by solids production. Based on solids production data, operators can enhance reliability programs and avoid unwanted erosion events. Understanding optimal flow rates and anticipating demands placed upon the facility before they happen helps to prevent unplanned downtime, costly fines, and potential incidents.

Best-in-class quality measurements combined with the latest visualization and analytics package gives the greatest insight into the health of the plant.

 

Conclusion

Online corrosion monitoring is fast becoming industry best practice with the availability of data-to-desk monitoring systems that provide previously unachievable quality and frequency of online measurements. The sensors deliver live particle monitoring and wall thickness measurements directly to the desk for analysis by engineers and inspectors informing on the current condition of the equipment at any point in time with no additional maintenance or costs. The quality and frequency of the measurements enables variations in solids rates to be detected, measured, and acted upon while the plant is operating.

Network operators can maximise their utilisation, whilst avoiding costly under-delivery penalties, with peace of mind that their equipment is operating safely with no risk to loss of containment. Contact our sales teams today to understand how you can digitally transform your gas storage operation through continuous corrosion monitoring.

Learn more and download the application flyer here.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.