LONDON -- BP is to collaborate with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the UK’s University of Manchester on materials and corrosion research for oilfield applications. BP has committed an initial $2 million to the program, and plans to match this sum for up to a further four years. The early focus will be on materials and corrosion science, encompassing corrosion and corrosion-fatigue modeling, environmental cracking, novel coatings, and new monitoring technology. Research will extend over time to other mechanical integrity and reliability issues.
BP requires materials and corrosion technologies that can cope with increasingly harsh conditions, i.e. deeper reservoirs with higher pressures, higher temperatures, and higher fluid velocities. Corrosion management also is becoming critical for safe, reliable, and efficient operation of aging process facilities and infrastructure.
The collaboration with will provide interdisciplinary academic input and support to BP’s Inherently Reliable Facilities (IRF) upstream technology program. The main goals of IRF are to deliver 1 billion incremental barrels of non-proven reserves through extending the life of BP’s facilities, to enhance the company’s ability to process aggressive fluids safely and efficiently, and to help optimize the cost of building and operating E&P facilities and infrastructure.
IRF also is developing relationships with two commercial laboratories - NPL in Teddington, UK, and Intertek Westport, Houston - to research chemical inhibition, corrosion monitoring, and materials performance. These two laboratories likely will provide expertise and facilities for the new universities collaboration program.
Under the new partnership, BP also will fund curriculum development at the two universities to help raise the profile of oilfield materials and corrosion science in undergraduate and graduate education. BP plans to provide further support to the academic world in the form of a one-off commitment of $500,000 to the Corrosion and Reliability Engineering initiative at the University of Akron, USA. Via these collaborations, BP also aims to shape the emergence of the next generation of materials and corrosion specialists, and to provide training and development opportunities for its own staff.