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Stray current corrosion in buried pipeline

Qingjun Zhu (Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China)
Alin Cao (College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing, China)
Wang Zaifend (China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Beijing, China)
Jiwen Song (China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Beijing, China)
Chen Shengli (China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Beijing, China)

Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials

ISSN: 0003-5599

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to analyze and solve abnormal variation of pipe‐to‐soil potentials of an oil‐transfer pipeline.


Pipe‐to‐soil potentials of an oil‐transfer pipeline varied abnormally at several locations. Visual detections find the pipeline is buried near an electric railway and there are several anodic ground beds nearby. Corrosion patterns of the pipeline and examination of the soil reveal no microbiological corrosion. The potential gradients indicate the pipeline might not be attacked by stray currents. However, whole day measurements of one pipeline pile show there are two kinds of stray currents influencing the pipeline: AC stray current and DC stray current.


The highest pipe‐to‐soil potential reaches 12.958 V when there are AC stray currents. In addition, the biggest and lowest DC pipe‐to‐soil potentials are 0.888 V and −5.90 V, respectively. Radiodetection pipeline current mapper measurement finds there is some bitumen coating breaking points on pipeline. These make the stray currents enter the pipeline and stray current corrosion happens easily. As a result, stray current corrosion happens.


The potential gradients cannot indicate stray current corrosion under all circumstance.



Zhu, Q., Cao, A., Zaifend, W., Song, J. and Shengli, C. (2011), "Stray current corrosion in buried pipeline", Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials, Vol. 58 No. 5, pp. 234-237.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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