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Coatings and Sustainability in the Oil and Gas Industry: An Expert's Perspective

Materials.Business Newsletter ⚙️ July 12th, 2023


Podcast Guest: Nicole de Varennes

Summary of the discussion

In the dynamic world of industrial coatings, challenges, and advancements abound, shaping the way we protect and preserve critical assets. This discussion delves into the fascinating realm of coatings, where experts shed light on the key issues faced by the industry. From selecting the right coatings for specific conditions to fostering collaboration between various sectors, the conversation highlights the importance of staying informed and working together to ensure sustainable and effective coating solutions. Join us as we explore the challenges, improvements, and sustainability practices that define the ever-evolving world of coatings.

Challenges in Coating Selection: The industry faces challenges when selecting coatings, often relying on outdated specifications copied from previous projects. This practice can lead to using inappropriate coatings for current equipment, resulting in premature failures and costly repairs.

The Importance of Proper Selection: Nicole stressed the significance of proper coating selection based on equipment operating conditions and chemistry. Testing coatings in real-world conditions and on actual equipment can lead to better outcomes.

Collaboration Between Industries: The conversation emphasized the need for collaboration between different industries, including EPC companies, asset owners, consultancy firms, and integrity management teams. Working together and sharing knowledge can lead to better coating decisions and improve asset integrity.

Awareness and Education: Increasing awareness and education about coatings is vital. Many decision-makers may not be coating specialists, but knowing who to consult for proper coating advice is crucial to avoid failures and ensure long-lasting performance.

Third-Party Coating Inspection: Employing third-party coating inspection can act as an insurance policy to ensure coatings are applied correctly and to high standards. This practice can prevent potential application issues and enhance coating performance.

Sustainability in Coatings: To improve sustainability, the industry can focus on environmentally friendly formulations, sustainable sourcing of raw materials, energy-efficient application processes, waste reduction, recycling, and life cycle assessments.

Continuous Improvement: The discussion emphasized that while progress has been made, there is still much room for improvement in the coating industry. By staying committed to best practices and sustainable initiatives, the industry can make a positive impact on both the environmental and economic fronts.

In conclusion, the coating industry can enhance its performance by prioritizing proper selection, collaborating between different stakeholders, adopting sustainable practices, and continuously improving coating technologies and applications.
Nicole de Varennes is the Coatings Manager for Vision Integrity Engineering. She has 18 years of experience in the corrosion science and coatings technology industry related primarily to oil and gas production systems and pipeline operations. Nicole started her career working in a coatings and failure analysis laboratory in Edmonton Alberta, eventually becoming the Laboratory Manager for both labs. In addition to her time in the lab she also worked out in the field as a coatings inspector, and coatings consultant. From there, in 2013, Nicole moved to Calgary and has worked for engineering firms, asset owners, and as an independent contractor. Since moving to Calgary Nicole has worked in; pipeline and facility integrity, coating inspection, failure analysis, but mostly as a Coatings Subject matter expert.
In addition to her work in the coatings industry, Nicole is an active member of several professional organizations and regularly speaks at industry events. She is also a published author, with articles and papers on coatings technology to her name. Nicole is passionate about educating others about the importance of coatings and is always eager to share her knowledge and experience with others.

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