Combatting Corrosion with Offshore Oil & Gas Coatings

Offshore oil and gas operations are a vital part of the global energy industry. These operations involve the extraction of oil and gas from deep-sea reserves, often in harsh and corrosive environments. As such, it is crucial to protect offshore structures and equipment from corrosion to ensure safe and efficient operations. One of the most effective ways to do so in offshore environments is through the use of specialized coatings.

Why Are Offshore Oil & Gas Coatings Important?

Offshore structures and equipment are constantly exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as saltwater, high humidity, and extreme temperatures. Any of these can cause corrosion on their own, and the combination of all 3 makes the offshore environment especially challenging. When left unchecked, these factors can quickly lead to structural damage, equipment failure, and safety hazards.

Offshore oil & gas coatings are specially designed to protect structures and equipment from severe environmental conditions that otherwise guarantee corrosion. There are 2 essential functions of these coatings:

  1. They act as a barrier between the metal surface and corrosive elements, preventing direct contact and mitigating negative effects.
  2. They provide cathodic protection by reacting with the environment in place of the steel structure underneath.

Coatings for Offshore Corrosion Prevention

Offshore coatings for corrosion prevention are designed to provide long-term protection against the harsh marine environment. These coatings are typically applied to the exterior of offshore structures, such as platforms, pipelines, and subsea equipment.

One of the key benefits of using offshore coatings for corrosion prevention is their ability to withstand the extreme conditions of their environment. They should be resistant to saltwater, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations to provide sufficient corrosion resistance in offshore operations.

Offshore Coating Systems

Offshore coating systems are a combination of different coatings that work together to provide comprehensive protection against corrosion. These systems are designed to meet the specific needs of offshore operations and typically consist of a cathodic primer, an epoxy coat, and a UV-resistant topcoat.

At Tesla NanoCoatings, our carbon nanotube technology allows us to cut out an entire coat compared to traditional 3-step coating systems while offering superior offshore corrosion prevention.

Non-Skid Deck Coatings

In addition to corrosion prevention, offshore structures also require coatings that provide a safe working environment. Non-skid deck coatings are designed to prevent slips and falls on offshore platforms and other structures. These coatings are typically applied to the walking surfaces of offshore structures, such as decks, walkways, and stairs. They provide a textured surface that improves traction and reduces the risk of accidents. At Tesla, we offer an award-winning non-skid deck coating that can be applied in just one step!

Parts of Offshore Coating Systems

At Tesla we offer several types of coatings that are commonly used in offshore operations including epoxy coatings, polyurethane coatings, and zinc-rich coatings.

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy coatings are one of the most commonly used coatings in offshore operations. They are known for their excellent adhesion, chemical resistance, and durability. While epoxy coatings can withstand exposure to saltwater, chemicals, and UV radiation, they aren’t very strong when it comes to abrasion and impact resistance. To remedy this, our epoxy coatings for the offshore industry are strengthened with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) which significantly improve the strength of epoxy films.

Zinc-Rich Coatings

Zinc-rich coatings are designed to provide cathodic protection to offshore structures. They contain a high concentration of zinc, which acts as a sacrificial anode, protecting the underlying metal from corrosion. While zinc-rich coatings usually constitute their own step in a coating system, at Tesla we’ve combined our CNT epoxy coatings with zinc to make application as efficient as possible.

Polyurethane Coatings

Polyurethane coatings are another popular choice for offshore operations, particularly for topcoats. They are known for their high gloss finish, excellent abrasion resistance, and resistance to chemicals and UV radiation. Polyurethane coatings are often used in combination with epoxy coatings to provide a more durable and long-lasting finish. Our PU topcoats serve as a final step to further lock in the physical and cathodic protection of our CNT-epoxy coatings.

Best Practices for Applying Offshore Oil & Gas Coatings

To ensure the effectiveness of offshore coatings, it is essential to follow best practices when applying them. These include proper surface preparation, correct application techniques, and regular maintenance.

Surface Preparation

Surface preparation is a critical step in the coating process. It involves cleaning and preparing the surface to ensure proper adhesion of the coating. In offshore operations, surface preparation is particularly important due to the presence of contaminants such as salt, oil, and grease.

Correct Application Techniques

The correct application techniques are crucial for the success of offshore coatings. Improper application can result in premature coating failure, leading to corrosion and other issues. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the recommended equipment and application methods. At Tesla, we’ve taken every step to make application quick, straightforward, accessible, and cost-effective.

Regular Maintenance

In most cases, regular maintenance is essential to ensure the long-term effectiveness of offshore coatings. This includes regular inspections, touch-ups, and recoating as needed. Regular maintenance can help identify and address any issues before they become more significant problems. In the case of Tesla NanoCoatings, we’ve yet to see a failure of our products that would require recoating.

Key Takeaways for Offshore Corrosion Protection

Offshore oil & gas coatings provide a substantial barrier against the harsh offshore environment. As a crucial component of corrosion prevention and protection, they help to extend the life of platforms, structures, and equipment. By following best practices and using the Tesla NanoCoatings, offshore operators can ensure the safety and efficiency of their operations for decades to come.