This paper examines the influence of traces of oxygen on corrosion and hydrogen charging of steel in an H2S containing environment. It is well known that H2S promotes hydrogen entry into steels, that may result in many
types of steel failures such as Hydrogen Induced Cracking (HIC), Sulfide Stress Cracking (SSC), and Stress-Oriented Hydrogen Induced Cracking (SOHIC). Since it is a huge concern for oil and gas industries, standard test methods have been developed and published as NACE technical methods (e.g. NACE TM0284 and NACE TM0177). Though it is recognized that oxygen pollution should be avoided during H2S cracking tests, there is still a lack of experimental data to illustrate the potential impacts of a small oxygen pollution.
The aim of the present study is to check if oxygen traces can modify the mechanisms of corrosion and hydrogen charging of steel in H2S containing medium. Experiments consisted of hydrogen permeation measurements through a thin pure iron membrane. They were performed at free potential circuit in order to ensure more realistic environmental conditions. The corrosion rate was also evaluated and test solutions analyzed.
Key words: H2S, O2, HIC, SSC, hydrogen permeation, hydrogen embrittlement.