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With the recent material failures in the oil and gas industry around the world, the role of a material and corrosion engineer for the selection of suitable material had become more complex, controversial and difficult.The task had become more diverse, since now the modern engineering materials offer wide spectrum of attractive properties and viable benefits.In the earlier years or late Seventies, the process of material selections that had been confined exclusively to a Material engineer, a Metallurgist or a Corrosion Specialist have widened to day, to encompass other disciplines like process, operations, integrity etc.

The material selection is no more under a single umbrella but had been an integrated team effort and multi discipline approach. The Material or Corrosion Specialist in today’s environment had to play the role of negotiator or a mediator between the  conflicting interests of other peer disciplines like process, operations, concept, finance, budgeting etc.With this as the backdrop the current article presents various stages in the material selection process and offers a rational path for the selection towards a distinctive, focused and structured holistic approach.What is Material Selection in the Oil and Gas Industry?

The material selection in oil and gas industry by and large is the process of short listing of technically suitable material options and materials for an intended application. Further to this options, it is the process of selecting the most cost effective material option for the specified operating life of the asset,bearing in mind health, safety and environmental aspects and sustainable development of the asset ,technical integrity and any asset operational constrains envisaged in the operating life of the asset.

Stages of Material Selection in the Oil and Gas Industry

The stages involved in material selection process can be outlined as:

  • Material Selection during concept or basic engineering stage
  • Material Selection during detail engineering stage
  • Material Selection for failure prevention – Lessons learned