The goal of pipeline nitrogen inerting is to prevent oxidation, a chemical reaction where a substance or product reacts with the oxygen that is naturally present in the atmosphere. Preventing oxidation requires controlling or minimizing the level of atmospheric oxygen in the space.
Chemical reactions to oxygen can be dangerous, resulting in the risk of:
- Destruction of metal surfaces
- Reduction of quality in the product
The process of inserting
Pipeline inerting replaces the air with a dry, inert gas that prevents oxygen from reacting with the product or flammable gases. The goal is to create an inert atmosphere, which is important when working with volatile substances and products that are susceptible to oxidation.
Nitrogen is most commonly used for pipeline inerting with carbon dioxide as a less frequent option.
Industries that rely on inerting
An inert atmosphere is particularly important when storing highly volatile substances or products prone to oxidation. Industries that rely on inerting include oil and gas, refineries, chemical plants, metal fabrication and welding, and water treatment, just to name a few.
At Canadian Nitrogen Services, we provide nitrogen inerting for the following oil and gas sectors:
- Upstream – Including coiled tubing, UBD, and gas lifting to make operations safer and efficient and to maximize recovery.
- Midstream – Nitrogen inerting is crucial to the process of transferring pressure between storage vessels and pipeline purging and drying.
- Downstream – Nitrogen inerting helps reduce operational costs with a quicker turnaround time. Our onsite nitrogen services are set up to deliver a consistent flow of nitrogen.
Onsite nitrogen for pipeline inerting
Unlike other methods, including the traditional method of supplying nitrogen in bulk tanks, onsite nitrogen generation eliminates the extensive logistics involved with inerting. This can save companies thousands of dollars in operational costs, reduce downtime, increase productivity, and most importantly – enhance the overall health and safety for both employees and the public.
When keeping a low oxygen atmosphere is critical, pipeline nitrogen inerting from a mobile truck is one of the most reliable techniques for the following reasons:
- A cost-effective solution when compared to other inerting methods
- No delays with delivery time and transportation of tanks
- Reduced carbon footprint with less energy consumption
- Membrane units can achieve a purity level of 95-99%
- A consistent flow of nitrogen eliminates production loss