Portions of BHP’s Eagle Ford Gathering System Closed Due to Corrosion

$1.8 Billion in Eagle Ford Spending Planned from January to June

BHP Billiton LogoBHP Billiton reported in February 2014 that portions of its Eagle Ford gathering system have been temporarily closed due to corrosion. The cause of the corrosion issue is at present being evaluated by the company.

The gathering system closure was revealed in BHP’s December 2013 financial report of Petrohawk. BHP is required to report operations updates and financial results to Petrohawk’s debt holders, after acquiring the company in 2011.

Read more at bhpbilliton.com 

BHP Eagle Ford Gathering Line Closure Operations Impact

According to BHP, production is continuing in the Eagle Ford, despite the interruption from the line closure. The company has increased the use of trucking to deliver product to market, and claims that there should be no significant impact on production.

BHP Eagle Ford Expenditures To Go Down in 2014

Onshore U.S. drilling and development cost BHP $2.4 billion in the second half of 2013. About 75% of this expense or $1.8 billion was spent in the Eagle Ford, mostly in the company’s liquids-rich Black Hawk acreage. The company achieved a 72% increase in production for onshore US liquids in the second half of 2013, which was primarily attributable to the Black Hawk acreage.

In 2014, expenditures are expected to decrease in the second half of the financial year, following a 35% decrease in the company’s active rig count to 26.

BHP Eagle Ford Highlights in Second Half of 2013

  • Eagle Ford gathering line system closed due to corrosion
  • BHP using trucks to deliver product to market
  • $1.8 billion Eagle Ford spending in second half of 2013
  • 72% increase in production for onshore US liquids
  • Active rig count down to 26 – 35% decrease

Corrosion Control in the Eagle Ford Shale

Corrosion control is always a factor in oilfield work.  Above-ground tanks, pipelines, and all manners of equipment suffer from corrosion, both internal and external in nature.  The farther south and west one moves across the Eagle Ford play, the more two interesting physical facts come to dominate external corrosion control needs.

Maverick, Dimmit, Zavala, Webb, La Salle, McMullen, Frio, Atascosa, Live Oak and Bee Counties have shallow soils which often contain large concentrations of chloride ion.  This comes from salt deposited when ancient ocean shorelines ranged across the region.  High chloride ion content causes aggressive corrosion rates on unprotected steel.  Just as importantly, the sodium and chloride ions, often found with other ions as well, cause the soil’s electrical resistivity to be very low.  The low electrical resistance means high corrosion current flows, which again accelerates attack on unprotected steel.  Pipelines are buried in this soil.  Tanks are set on it. [Read more…]