The Effect of Nitrite on Pitting and Stress Corrosion Cracking of Corrosion Resistant Alloys (CRA) under Oil Field Conditions.

  • Akinyemi Okeremi

Student thesis: Phd


The need to inject treated seawater to enhance reservoir pressure and secondary oil recovery is increasing in the oil field, so also is the reservoir souring potential caused by the activities of Sulphate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) generating H2S in the reservoir. The total cost of SRB mediated corrosion in the United States alone is estimated to be 1-2 billion US dollars per year. In the last few years, a number of potential souring mitigation and prevention tools have been studied. These include: sulphate-reduction using membranes, biocide injection and nitrate injection. Out of all the various methods used for the mitigation and prevention of reservoir souring, the use of nitrate injection in conjunction with waterflood projects is becoming more popular because of its economic benefits and least environmental impact. However, nitrate injection is still widely considered as an emergent technology because there are still many unknowns. One of the major unknowns, of great concern is the susceptibility of subsea hardware components to nitrite, which is a by-product of nitrate anti-souring treatment. Any detrimental effect can compromise the technical integrity of subsea installations.The objective of this research is to study the corrosion susceptibility of CRA (13Cr- Martensitic, 22Cr, and 25Cr super duplex stainless steel) to pitting and stress corrosion cracking in the presence of nitrite. Research hitherto, has investigated corrosion susceptibility of carbon steel to nitrite and found out that nitrite causes pitting in carbon steel. This research work built on previous studies and extensively investigated the effect of nitrite on CRA materials in terms of pitting and stress corrosion cracking. Using electrochemistry techniques in conjunction with C-ring test and slow strain rate test, with variables such as temperature, and nitrite concentration all under anaerobic conditions. Metallographic examination and further evaluation using scanning electron microscopy confirmed pitting and intergranular stress corrosion cracking of 13Cr-L80 and 25Cr due to presence of nitrite.Test data confirmed that sodium nitrite is an anodic inhibitor; it shifts the corrosion potentials to more noble potential and also shifts the anodic curve to lower current, given a net reduction in corrosion rate. A critical concentration of 400ppm is required for inhibition to be effective on 13Cr-L80 and 25Cr. However, below the critical concentration, nitrite significantly increases the corrosion rate. The experimental data generated from this research work provides very valuable information that will tremendously assist the materials selection process for subsea and subsurface hardware components and also serve as a guide in the corrosion management process in existing systems.
Date of Award31 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJames Scantlebury (Supervisor)


  • Localised Corrosion in CRA,
  • Stress Corrosion cracking, SCC, Pitting, Nitrate/Nitrite Corrosion

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