November 24, 2010
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№ 9 (September 2010)

EUROCORR 2010: Foreign Companies See Huge Potential In Russia

The European corrosion conference EUROCORR 2010 wrapped up on Friday after being held for the first time in Moscow, Russia. Russian scientists earned the right to host the corrosion prevention event thanks to the high level of their scientific work which drew the attention of the international expert commission.

By Elena Zhuk

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In handing the symbolic EUROCORR 2010 cup to colleagues from Sweden, where the event will be held next year in Stockholm, Gubkin Oil&Gas University deputy rector Aleksandr Muradov thanked foreign participants for attending, "Russian scientists got the unique chance to exchange a wide range of experience with foreign specialists. This is very important because our scientists are often limited in their ability to travel abroad to attend international events."
"Now that the congress has passed, one can say that EUROCORR 2010 was a real success for the organizers both in Russia and the European Federation of Corrosion (EFC)", EFC President Dr. Philip Marcos said.
"The last international corrosion event of this size was in 1966 when Moscow hosted the world congress", Yuriy Kuznetsov, the chair of the Russian scientific committee for EUROCORR 2010 told OGE. According to the event's organizers, this year 85 students participated. "I found the presentations on Surfaces by Teplokhim and Solvay Solexis (USA) to be very interesting", second year oil and gas field development student Alena Slaboshevskaya told OGE. Slaboshevskaya and fourth-year student Kristina Sirotina said the fact lectures were in English was a not a problem for her, since they studied English in school. Both noted that they needed to have better knowledge of industry-specfici terminology and added that the conference was extremely helpful in that regard. Unfortunately, many students at Gubkin only begin learning English in their third year of studies and such a late start prevented many of them from understanding the terminology on the level required at EUROCORR 2010.
Meanwhile, the problem of corrosion is acquiring more and more significance for the Russian oil and gas industry and the ability to apply the most up-to-date foreign experience will be invaluable.
Oleg Steklov, the president of the Russian scientific technology association, said most of Russia's pipelines are beginning to feel the extreme effects of corrosion and age, he told said only 12 percent of trunk pipelines are less than 15 years old while 55 perecent are from 15 to 30 years old and 33 percent have been in operation for over 30 years. "That is, the age of most of the pipelines are, in anthropomorphic terms, pensioners", Steklov said. "Russian production, transport and refining specialists say that corrosion is the reason for 70 percent of failures", Kuznetsov said.
EUROCORR 2010 showed that foreign companies are ready to offer their solutions. "We see huge potential to develop business in Russia", said Peter Nicholson, the president of Cathodic Technology (Canada), "The company has been on the international market for almost 30 years, but this is the first time in Moscow".
William Russell, representing another Canadian company, Interprovincial Corrosion Control, is also new to the Russian market. He said he believes that despite the fact many decisions at monopolies like Gazprom are subject to complicated bureaucracy, small foreign firms have good chances of getting into the market.
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