Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia

Cathodic Protection of Offshore Platform

Saudi ARAMCO operates a number of oil production platforms in the Persian Gulf and many of these platforms have no electrical power beyond a few solar modules for communications and navigational aids. One of the major operating expenses for these platforms is the need to replace corroded well casings every 5-8 years.

Studies by ARAMCO have shown that the frequency of this work could be dramatically reduced through the use of impressed-current cathodic protection. After looking at a number of alternatives to supplying the electricity for such a system, ARAMCO concluded that wind power was a least-cost approach.

After researching wind power for several years and conducting an international bid, ARAMCO awarded BWC a contract in late 1997 to design and supply a complete power system for a pilot project. The system had to be capable of supplying up to 300A at an adjustable voltage between 8-20 VDC and had to be designed around the restricted space on a working oil production platform. Fierce corrosion, Class 1 Explosion-proof zones, daily temperatures up to 50 deg. C (122 deg. F), difficult logistics, and the need to accommodate work-over barges made for a challenging system design.

BWC delivered a completely integrated and fully tested system in August 1998 and assisted with its installation and commissioning in January 1999. The system includes a data acquisition system for performance monitoring. The equipment has been 100% available since installation.