Problems Caused by Microbes and Treatment Strategies: Rapid Diagnostics of Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) in Oilfield Systems with a DNA-Based Test Kit
In the past, many operators have encountered failures due to MIC in pipelines and topside facilities contaminated with sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB). In some cases, severe pitting has resulted in flow lines being either abandoned or replaced (Davies and Scott, 2006). However, there are reports of little or no significant MIC in some systems, despite an apparent significant contamination with SRB (Maxwell, 2006). As most bacterial counts were conducted using serial dilution techniques such as the most probable number (MPN) technique selective enumeration of SRB strains (depending on the type of growth medium used) will inevitably be conducted. Therefore, high bacterial numbers derived from cultivation-based techniques do not necessarily correlate to high SRB numbers causing MIC in the production system (Larsen et al., 2005). In addition, MIC can be caused by other microbes such as sulphate-reducing archaea (SRA), methanogens and fermentative microbes (Larsen et al., 2008, 2009). Also most samples taken by the oil industry are water samples. However, the majority of microbial activity takes place in biofilms that attach to pipeline walls, well tubing and on the inside of topside facilities.
KeywordsMuch Probable Number Water Outlet Microbiologically Influence Corrosion Pipe Surface Corrosion Scale
Laboratory experiments and field monitoring were sponsored by DUC Partners (A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Shell and Chevron).
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