Since graduating from UBC, I’ve been employed at a single company, CIMARRON Engineering Ltd. in Calgary, AB. The company is a consulting firm for the oil and gas business that provides services for pipeline and facility design as well as integrity support.
My role has been quite varied at CIMARRON. The group I work in focuses on internal corrosion, therefore that has been my focus over my time at the company. We perform internal corrosion assessments for a number of companies using a software tool to calculate theoretical corrosion rates for individual pipeline segments.
In the Oil and Gas upstream (production) business, the biggest threat to gathering lines is internal corrosion due to the typically high water content in the lines. There are a number of factors affecting corrosivity in a line including CO2%, H2S%, chloride and bicarbonate levels to name a few. The software tool that has been developed internally relates all factors including pipeline dimensions (e.g., 3 inch diameter) to calculate theoretical corrosion rates. There are many details to this work that are quite interesting.
I’ve also done work with the regulatory bodies (e.g., Energy Resources and Conservation Board (ERCB)) to ensure that companies are in compliance with industry regulations. This has included engineering assessments to address suitability of pipelines for ongoing service, assisting with response to the ERCB when failures occur, and developing corporate documents for companies that provide guidance to operations with regards to integrity management.
Overall, I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of projects. This industry is very interesting because no one project is exactly the same. Additionally, my position is very secure due to the large number of pipelines installed in the ground that require maintenance. My division manager is predicting much more work over the year to come and 2009 has been our busiest ever.