Case Study: Field study on Electroless-Nickel
coating technology (ENC) shows
significant improvement in terms
of corrosion and scaling resistance
in SAGD wells
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), one of the oldest and largest independent and non-profit R&D
organizations in the U.S., conducted lab testing on the performance of coated coupons with RGL’s
electroless nickel-coating (ENC) technology, L80 and K55 control samples. RGL’s ENC had shown
promising results in the laboratory and the team was eager to prove the technology in the field.
A SAGD operator in Western Canada was interested to see how RGL’s ENC could help mitigate
corrosion, erosion, and scaling issues in their SAGD wells.
The team decided to test RGL’s ENC technology in a client’s SAGD well using coated and uncoated
pup joints in different sections of the well. After two and half months of circulation and two weeks
of production, the coated and uncoated pub joints were recovered and sent to the University of
Alberta’s Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering for further comparative analysis.
Samples were subjected to x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and energy-dispersive spectroscopy
tests which indicate the extent of corrosion and accumulation of fouling substances. The EN-coated
and uncoated carbon steel samples were compared for corrosion resistance, scale, hardness and
adhesion of inorganic and organic materials in a series of laboratory tests.
Results showed that RGL’s ENC significantly improved
corrosion resistance in a SAGD high pressure and high
Lower forces of adhesion and improved antifouling
performance of ENC were significant in comparison to the
carbon steel joint removed from the same section of the
The field test verifies laboratory results that in SAGD
conditions, ENC reduces corrosion occurrence by 75%,
scaling deposition by 95%, and is two times harder than