LUX Assure technology has been developed for use in the field – onshore, offshore, in hostile and demanding environments all around the world – and is delivering real solutions to every day challenges.

Here you can read brief summaries of case studies from recent applications of our technology. If you’d like more detailed technical information relating to a specific case, please contact us.

Case studies

Location: USA 
Infrastructure: Onshore crude oil production facility
Task: Method required to determine if the wetting agent was being applied at a dose offering optimal corrosion protection
Outcome: CoMic™ provided valuable dose information for asset integrity management

Background

An onshore US facility producing high levels of corrosive H2S in the crude extraction process, required chemical optimisation. Traditional film-forming corrosion inhibitors were ineffective against the highly corrosive H2S, leading the operator to use a ‘wetting agent’ in order to prevent iron sulphide build up. Wetting agents have similar characteristics to film-forming corrosion inhibitors, forming micelles when the ‘Critical Micelle Concentration’ has been achieved. The use of CoMic™ to determine micelle presence was required at this production facility to inform optimal chemical management.

Testing

CoMic™ was performed on samples onsite to determine micelle presence and the wetting agent dose rate was altered according to the results. The analysis showed that when a dose rate of
110 ppm was being applied to the system there was evidence of micelles, providing confidence that the system was well dosed. The wetting agent dose was then reduced to determine if too much product was being applied. As the results show (graph shown in case study download), reducing the dose rate resulted in a loss of micelle signal, indicating there was limited scope to reduce the dosage and still provide optimal protection.

Summary

Onsite CoMic™ testing afforded near real-time results to be achieved, giving confidence that the system in question was at an optimal dose rate when 110 ppm of the wetting agent was being applied. A recommendation was made that this dose rate should be maintained for optimal protection. This information was then fed into a corrosion management review.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Location: UK 
Infrastructure: Onshore crude oil processing facility
Task: Method required to determine optimal dose of corrosion inhibitor for protection of high value infrastructure
Outcome: CoMic™ helped increase asset integrity assurance through determining the optimal dose of corrosion inhibitor

Background

A UK onshore crude oil processing facility required assistance to ensure their facilities were protected from the effects of corrosion.

Currently the facility is using film forming corrosion inhibitors to protect high value critical infrastructure.

Optimum inhibitor dosage levels are difficult to establish. While under-dosing can increase the risk of corrosion, over-dosing of inhibitor can cause emulsion build-up and complex separation issues which are time-consuming and expensive to resolve.

LUX Assure’s CoMic™ methodology was utilised to ensure the corrosion inhibitor in use was being adequately dosed.  The CoMic™ method works by detecting the presence of corrosion inhibitor micelles, a key feature which determines optimal dose rate.  It is the only readily available technology for accurately measuring Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) in the field.

Testing

Prior to deployment, LUX Assure’s scientists performed a series of tests in order to simulate field conditions at the processing plant.  This allowed a picture of the corrosion inhibitor micelle behaviour to be established.

Once at site a number of locations were selected, from which suitable water samples could be collected. The results showed that all sites were just above the CMC, indicating that adequate corrosion inhibitor was being dosed throughout the system. In addition, these results were combined with the operators in-house LC-MS method which provided support to the results determined by the CoMic™ method

Summary

Through use of the CoMic™ methodology the operator was able to gain assurance of the optimal dose of corrosion inhibitor across the facility.

Valuable results provided by CoMic™ allow for informed decisions to be made as field conditions change, increasing confidence in corrosion inhibitor dose selection.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Download a copy of the case study here:

CoMic Case Study Onshore Oil Processing Facility

Location: UK, North Sea
Infrastructure: Offshore Installation
Task: Method required to determine optimal dose of corrosion inhibitor for protection of high value infrastructure
Outcome: CoMic™ detected micelle presence and highlighted areas with no micelles. Integrity management procedures were reviewed accordingly

Background

An offshore UK oil and gas operator employed the CoMic™ methodology as a means of determining optimal dose of corrosion inhibitor across the facility. The facility comprised of production and processing facilities and oil was exported to shore via a pipeline for final re-sale. The corrosion inhibitor in use was primarily oil soluble due to its requirement to protect the oil export pipeline. The oil soluble nature of the product meant that traditional residual techniques for corrosion inhibitor detection were not appropriate. Therefore, the unique methodology employed by CoMic™ was required.
The use of CoMic™ allows optimal dose rate of film-forming corrosion inhibitors to be determined by determining micelle presence. Film-forming corrosion inhibitors, such as that in use on this facility, form micelles when the ‘Critical Micelle Concentration’, or optimal dose, has been achieved. A field deployment covering five days was carried out to ascertain micelle presence across the asset

Testing

The investigation involved onsite sampling from three sample points across the facility, performing CoMic™ analysis to determine micelle presence and manipulation of the dose rate according to the results. Initial analysis on Day 1 showed a lack of micelle presence, the operator was informed and investigation revealed corrosion inhibitor was not being dosed. This was rectified and results showed that the system required an approximate equilibrium time of 10 – 28 hours to achieve adequate corrosion inhibitor coverage, indicated by the positive presence of micelles. Samples taken from Points 2 and 3, which were co-mingled fluids, showed no micelles and highlighted these areas of the facility may be at risk from under dosing. (Graph shown in case study download)

Summary

Onsite testing allowed the operator to assess corrosion inhibitor dose across the facility. Results were fed into the integrity management system and dose rates were changed accordingly.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Download a copy of the case study here:

CoMic Case Study North Sea Installation

Location: North Sea
Infrastructure: Pipeline linking platforms
Task: Diagnosis and optimisation
Outcome: Replacement of chemical inhibitor

case-studies1

Background
A cluster of platforms in the North Sea are connected by a network of pipelines.
Electrochemical probe and coupon testing have produced contradictory indications on the efficacy of corrosion inhibitor dosage on one specific pipeline.

CoMic deployed
An initial laboratory assessment observed typical film-forming behaviour for the inhibitor, with micelles detected in significant numbers once concentration reached the Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC). In the lab study, this was just below 10ppm. However, CMC is a function of the specific environment, so the fluid has to be tested in the field if the analysis is to be accurate and useful.
Onsite, analysis of water from each end of the pipeline confirmed that the effective dose entering the pipeline wasn’t present at the exit. This suggested that either an increase in dosage was required, or that an alternative inhibitor should be used.

Result
The operator trialled a replacement inhibitor, with CoMic™ used to analyse two different dosage levels and to help define the optimum concentration of the new chemical. This delivered enhanced protection and assurance against corrosive attack.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Location: North Sea to UK mainland
Infrastructure: A 200 mile long 34” subsea pipeline
Task: Analysis and interpretation
Outcome: Recommendations for future practice

Background
A subsea pipeline is shared by several North Sea platforms to transport oil to a processing facility in the UK. Between 1% and 5% of the fluid produced is water, with corrosion controlled by adding film-forming inhibitor. Corrosion rate probes are used to optimise inhibitor content, and a CoMic™ study is commissioned to confirm findings.

CoMic™ deployed
An initial laboratory assessment was carried out to ensure that the chemical was a surfactant which can be detected when it forms micelles – other types, such as passivating inhibitors, do not react in this way. This was verified and in the lab study, the Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) was found to be just below 30ppm. However, CMC is a function of the specific environment, so the fluid has to be tested in the field if the analysis is to be accurate and useful.

Samples analysed from the water phase of fluid taken from the receiving separator quickly showed the presence of corrosion inhibitor micelles at the terminus, which implied that the entire length of the pipeline contained adequate dosage.

Result
The CoMic™ study confirmed adequate inhibitor dosage, but identified variability in micelle levels from different samples. We recommended regular careful monitoring in future. We also suggested that slug-dosing after pigging might be necessary, as the cleaning process is known to temporarily remove inhibitor film.

Downstream processing of fluids involves parallel de-salter trains. Our analysis demonstrated differences between trains in the micelle readings after mixing with hot crude. The operator was able to use this information to better understand the distribution and eventual fate of the treatment chemicals.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Location: Alaska, USA
Infrastructure: Large production system
Task: Analysis of inhibitor dosage
Outcome: Identification of need to optimise dosage

Background
A major production complex at an onshore location in Alaska runs three separate systems dealing with produced water and injected seawater.

Concern arose over inhibitor performance, and given the complexity and scale of the systems, integrity loss could have been very costly. LUX Assure were contracted to carry out studies on all three systems, with the results of the first exercise described here.

CoMic™ deployed
The first system analysed has three interconnected production facilities distributed over a large geographical area, with each facility processing the output of numerous individual wells. Corrosion inhibitor is injected at each well site, with an extra boost added in one of the lines. The CoMic™ analysis revealed significant differences across the system, with micelle levels above optimal at one facility, below optimal at another, and optimal at a third.

Result
The CoMic™ analysis highlighted the potential benefits were inhibitor dosage to be altered. A return visit the following year showed optimal corrosion inhibitor levels throughout, which suggests that our work helped avoid potentially expensive loss of integrity.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Location: Northern Kuwait
Infrastructure: 48km long seawater pipeline
Task: Measurement of inhibitor dosage
Outcome: Recommendation to maintain current levels of corrosion inhibitor

Background
LUX Assure conducted a project for Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), deploying CoMic™ for the first time in the Middle East in 2013. The technology was used in a pilot study on a major seawater pipeline in Northern Kuwait.

48 kilometres long and 36 inch (914mm) in diameter, the carbon steel pipeline carries seawater from the Gulf to a number of injection wells. Corrosion inhibitor is injected to protect the system.

CoMic™ deployed
Detecting micelles in the seawater stream, CoMic™ technology was able to verify that an optimal dosage level of corrosion inhibitor was present throughout the length of the pipeline.

Result
The test was able to verify corrosion inhibitor, micelle content at each end of the pipeline, suggesting that current dosage levels were acceptable. The further study of incremental dose reduction was identified as a possibility for cost saving.

 

FOR UNDER-DOSED SYSTEMS, BETTER MANAGING INTEGRITY WITH TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS COMIC™ HELPS MITIGATE THE RISK OF INCURRING HIGH COSTS; PIPELINES COST CA. $3M PER KM TO REPLACE

FOR OVER-DOSED SYSTEMS, COST SAVINGS CAN BE SIGNIFICANT. FOR ONE CUSTOMER SAVINGS OF >$0.4M A YEAR ARE ANTICIPATED

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Location: Norway
Infrastructure: Mongstad Refinery
Task: Analysis of incoming crude oil for MEG content
Outcome: Immediate data comparable with GC

Background
A newly commissioned oil installation in the North Sea uses continuous injection of mono-ethyleneglycol (MEG) to prevent hydrate formation in flow-lines. In initial operations, there can be a higher than normal loss of MEG into the crude oil stream, prior to achieving stability in the MEG regeneration unit, with resulting increase in costs to replace the MEG. As MEG is considered a crude contaminant, it can lead to unwillingness of the refinery to accept cargo shipments containing excessive levels of MEG. The refinery may also Impose a waiver fee, due to contamination or damage of microbial sieve beds used for effluent water, post crude washing. Statoil’s Mongstad refinery received such a shipment of cargo crude meaning that prompt analysis showing MEG content of crude oil to be processed at refinery was essential. Results from this analysis allowed informed decisions to be made regarding potential additional washing and processing of the contaminated cargo crude.

OMMICA™ deployed
Use of Gas Chromatography (GC) for MEG in oil analysis is widely recognised, however in this instance it was not practical to analyse the samples using GC in the short time-frame given. In addition to this, multiple samples were to be tested and OMMICA™ was found more suitable than GC. Following the creation of a standard curve using the OMMICA™ kit reagents, samples of oil from the cargo tankers were received and analysed using OMMICA™ oil analysis kits. Samples were also sent to an external lab for correlation with the GC method of analysis.

Testing was carried out over a number of weeks and results were correlated as can be seen in Figure 1(shown in download). As can be seen from the graph, OMMICA™ and GC results correlate very well. Less than a 20% difference in results was found between two different methods, using non-identical samples in different labs. This is widely considered an acceptable variance. The successful outcome of this correlation testing meant that Statoil Mongstad continue to use OMMICA™ at the refinery laboratory to analyse for MEG in oil samples from suspect cargo crude shipments.

Result
The ability to carry out near real time analysis on multiple samples has given Statoil Mongstad the benefit of being able to make informed decisions on the processing and potential segregation of cargo crude prior to entry to the refinery. This in turn has the potential of giving savings in terms of demurrage, storage prior to result and potential additional process steps to ensure MEG levels are well within specification to avoid risk of out-of-specification material. Following the successful deployment of OMMICA™ analysis in this instance and strong correlation with GC, the OMMICA™ method has been endorsed by Statoil Mongstad for use in analysing incoming crude oil for MEG content.

Download a copy of the case study here:

OMMICA Case Study MEG in Oil Statoil Mongstad

Location: North Sea
Infrastructure: Pipeline
Task: Analysis of water and oil samples
Outcome: Rapid reporting from offshore testing, giving assurance that methanol levels were within the handling capacity of a terminal

Background
Methanol is used upstream for gas hydrate control, but can cause major problems downstream during processing and refining.

An oil platform in the North Sea undertook a pigging programme for the dewatering of a pipeline. As the concentration of methanol in the water slug produced from pigging is uncertain, analysis was required to inform the terminal of the levels it was likely to receive.

OMMICA™ deployed
A pre-operation lab test was carried out to compare OMMICA™ analysis with the conventional gas chromatography (GC) method. Results compared well. During the pigging programme, oil and water samples were tested offshore using OMMICA™ kits, and by GC in an onshore lab. Both sets of analysis were carried out by the operator or their service company.

Data gathered offshore using OMMICA™ was in line with expectations and previous GC analysis, for both oil and water samples.

Result
Data was reported daily from the offshore location throughout dewatering, so the operator could inform the terminal of the methanol concentrations present in the fluid it would receive. Using only the GC method, results would not have been available until days later.

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Location: Norway
Infrastructure: Offshore MEG Regeneration Facility
Task: Analysis of water samples
Outcome: Offshore, immediate data comparable with GC

Background
Monoethylene glycol (MEG) is a thermodynamic hydrate inhibitor used to prevent the formation of gas hydrates (ice-like solids containing gas molecules, such as methane) produced under conditions that favour hydrate formation, such as high pressure and cold temperatures.

The use of MEG is especially applicable to long-distance gas-condensate tie-backs where heating or insulating the pipelines is impractical or uneconomical. Analysing the MEG concentration in fluids from various points in a MEG regeneration system gives vital information on how effectively the plant is running, and whether or not any discharged water meets environmental limits.

OMMICA™ deployed
Typical analysis for MEG concentration is by gas chromatography (GC), which is normally only available in an onshore lab staffed by specialist experts. OMMICA™ can analyse samples offshore – or anywhere else – easily and quickly. It can be used by anyone with minimal training or technical experience.

The OMMICA™ MEG in Water kit was used by an oil and gas operator with a MEG regeneration facility. Samples were also analysed by GC for comparison. Correlation was excellent, with OMMICA™ delivering immediate results from a quick and simple process

Result
The OMMICA™ MEG in Water kit delivered accurate analysis onsite, offshore, in a very short time frame, whereas the traditional GC analysis took significantly longer to deliver similar results.

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Download a copy of the case study here:

OMMICA Case Study MEG in Produced Water Offshore

Location: USA
Infrastructure: Onshore US Facility
Task: Map Biocide across facility to informing dosing
Outcome: A clear picture of biocide dose and journey of the chemical through the system

Background
Certain types of biocides, such as those containing quaternary amines, are surfactants and form micelles. We investigated whether biocide micelles could be detected in field samples and used to ‘map’ the biocide across a large US onshore facility. If so, it would allow the operator to understand the path of the chemical through the system and inform dosing.

Testing
Samples were taken from across the site at various time points during a biocide batch treatment. Timepoints were chosen to coincide with the passing of the chemical slug. The presence of micelles was
determined in the on-site laboratory. The concentration at which biocide micelles formed in lab testing was similar to the kill dose, as determined by the operator.

Result
No micelles were detected at sample point B (see graph in PDF download). Whilst possible that this was a mistiming of sample collection it could imply significant losses between points A and B. No micelles were detected from sampling points A or D, prior to this batch of chemical being injected. Should this product be required to have a continuous presence in the system, the system may be at risk between batches. Micelles were detected at all other sampling points. These results were reported to the operator and enabled them to make better informed decisions on the batch dosing regimen.

Benefit
• On-site testing afforded near real-time results to be achieved
• Testing showed the path of travel of the biocide through the system and whether it was present at the kill dose throughout the system
• Areas requiring additional dosing were highlighted – alerting the operator to a potential biofouling risk

  • As some of the information relating to these examples is commercially sensitive, we have retained the anonymity of our clients in relation to the case studies. If you’d like to know who we’re working with currently, please see our Testimonials section.

Download a copy of the case study here:

Case Study Biocide Mapping at onshore facility