A practical evaluation of 21st century microbiological techniques for the upstream oil and gas industry

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  • Published: November 2012
  • REF/ISBN: 9780852936382
  • Edition: 1st
  • Status: New

In the past the oil and gas industry relied upon the development of microbiological monitoring and identification techniques intended for other commercial sectors, adapting these for its own needs when necessary. An increased dependence on molecular microbiological methods (MMM) in other sectors is gradually being embraced by the oil and gas industry. One of the reasons for this is a lack of knowledge on the strengths and weaknesses of MMM in relation to microbiological problems in oilfield, refinery and pipeline situations.

This report aims to compare traditional oil industry microbiological techniques with MMM. Ten samples were collected and analysed from three oil production platforms in the North Sea: water from a seawater system; produced water from oil separators; pigging debris, and surface solids from an oil export spool section. Each sample was analysed using traditional microbiological techniques and MMM. An assessment was then made on the strengths and weaknesses of each technique in relation to oil industry requirements. By discussing the results from the various techniques in terms of the underlying science, the reader will be better equipped to specify the appropriate technique for a particular problem and interpret the results from the chosen techniques.

This publication will be of particular interest to microbiologists working in the oil and gas industry in relation to oilfield, refinery and pipeline situations.

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