Which Microbial Communities Are Present? Using Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation (FISH): Microscopic Techniques for Enumeration of Troublesome Microorganisms in Oil and Fuel Samples

  • Lars Holmkvist
  • Jette Johanne Østergaard
  • Torben Lund Skovhus
Conference paper


Enumeration of microbes involved in souring of oil fields and microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) with culture-based methods, usually yield inadequate and contradictory results. Any cultivation step will almost certainly alter the population structure of the sample and thus the results of cultivation analysis are not a good basis for mitigation decisions. The need for methods that are cultivation independent has over the past 10 years facilitated the development of several analytical methods for determination of bacterial identity, quantity, and to some extent function, applied directly to samples of the native population. In this chapter, we demonstrate the features and benefits of applying microscopic techniques to a situation often encountered in the oil and petroleum industry: Control of microbial growth in fuel storage tanks. The methods described in this chapter will focus on direct counts of specific groups of microorganisms with microscopy and these are based on the detection of genetic material and not on culturing.


Total Cell Number Planktonic Cell Petroleum System Active Bacterium Microbiologically Influence Corrosion 
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Laboratory experiments and field monitoring were sponsored by DUC Partners (A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Shell and Chevron).


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Holmkvist
    • 1
  • Jette Johanne Østergaard
    • 2
  • Torben Lund Skovhus
    • 1
  1. 1.Danish Technological Institute, DTI Oil & GasAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Maersk Oil and Gas ASEsbjergDenmark

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