PhD Scholarship in New Tube Materials for Corrosion Control in Oil & Gas

Technical University of Denmark - DTU Mechanical Engineering

The Materials and Surface Engineering section in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark are seeking candidate for 1 PhD position in the field of investigation steel alloy chemistry, microstructure, and surface finish on oil field corrosion and scaling. Proposed PhD project is a part of the work package conducted in collaboration between The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) and Maersk Oil (MOG).

The PhD position is for a 3-year period and expected to start from March 1st 2018.

Corrosion is a common problem in the oil and gas industry, which reduces the lifetime of well tubing material. An extensive internal corrosion of the tubing materials requires better corrosion resistant alloys. Understanding steel alloy chemistry and microstructural relation to corrosion is an important aspect. Another determining factor for scaling is the surface finish of the tubing, which dictates the kinetics of scale growth.

Responsibilities and tasks

To prevent corrosion, e.g. corrosion inhibitors, H2S and O2 scavengers or biocides can be used. However, despite of using such mitigation techniques, extensive corrosion in the wells is still observed. The conditions present in the wells are complex and the severity of corrosion depends on various environmental (e.g. CO2/H2S/O2, seawater fraction, temperature, pressure, liquid flow velocity, stresses etc.) and material variables (e.g. chemical composition, microstructure, and surface finish).

Recent corrosion study made in collaboration between DHRTC, DTU, and MOG, showed that the penetration depth related to pitting corrosion was increasing as a function of Seawater fraction (SW%). However, the nature of corrosion damage depends on the material used and its electrochemical behavior. Both low chromium and high chromium steels are used for production pipes, however the corrosion behaviour vary significantly due to the passivating nature of the alloys. For example high chromium alloys are more susceptible for localized attack compared to low chromium alloys depending on the oil well conditions. The aim of this PhD project will be:

  • Corrosion investigation of materials as a function of alloy chemistry and microstructure under sweet and sour conditions.
  • Defining corrosion mechanisms vs alloys chemistry, microstructure, and heat treatment conditions.
  • Detailed investigation of the passivity nature of steels with Ni, Mo, and other alloy additions.
  • Scale formation on various types of steel, and correlation to alloy chemistry and surface finish.


To apply, please read the full job advertisement at

Application deadline: 20 January 2018 (Local time).

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students, and a technical/administrative support staff of about 85 persons.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation, and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

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