Microbes in oil E&P


Courtesy of Energy Institute (EI)

The role of microbes in the oil industry, both detrimental and beneficial, has now become more and more accepted. Reservoir souring and microbial influenced corrosion cost the oil and gas business millions of dollars every year, and require adequate mitigation and surveillance strategies. Monitoring using modern molecular microbiological methods has facilitated a better understanding of traditional mitigation techniques and the advancement of novel strategies, while the use of microbes for microbial enhanced oil recovery and upgrading unconventionals (eg coal-tomethane) has gained increasing interest. These topics were addressed at last year’s Reservoir Microbiology Forum.

The 19th annual Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF) was held at the Energy Institute (EI) on 20–21 November 2013. Organised by a working group within the EI’s Microbiology Committee, the conference encourages discussion among industry and academia in the area of reservoir microbiology relevant to oil recovery. The event once again was fully attended, with delegates keen to share their issues and experiences. Delegates came from a wide range of disciplines throughout Europe, North and South America, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

The RMF 19 was sponsored by Shell Global Solutions International, with NCIMB sponsoring the refreshment break, North East Corrosion Engineers (NECE) sponsoring the drinks reception and Wintershall sponsoring the conference bags. The two-day event hosted 20 technical presentations on the topics of petroleumand subsurfacemicrobiology, molecular microbiological methods (MMM) and monitoring, microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), souring, mitigation and remediation strategies and case studies, and microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) and microbial upgrading. In addition to the oral presentations, 10 posters were presented at the event. Poster presentations have proved a popular platform for universities and junior industry professionals to display their current research and projects on the area of reservoir and oil field microbiology.

RMF 2013 highlights

The conference commenced with a welcome from the chair of the EI Microbiology Committee, Elaine McFarlane (Shell Global Solutions UK), who gave a summary of the work that the Committee is involved with. A brief introduction was given by the EI Upstream Manager Dr Cameron Stewart on a current EI project to develop Guidelines for the management of microbial induced corrosion in oil and gas production, which aims to provide a basis for developing suitable mitigation strategies for operators.

Each of the six sessions was chaired by an industry expert who highlighted the relevant challenges and areas for future research on their subject. As each session was followed by a Q&A debate, there were lots of opportunities for interaction between the speakers and audience. A drinks reception and conference dinner provided a friendly environment for further discussion and networking.

The MIC programme proved to be popular among the delegates. Jan Larsen (Maersk Oil) began the technical session with a presentation on the application of MMMfor early warning ofMIC in subsea pipelines. This outlined methods for predicting the likelihood of when MIC may occur, with the aim to minimise the cost of routine surveillance by concentrating on pipelines with a potential MIC problem. Other presentations included monitoring aerobic microbiologically influenced corrosion via electrochemical frequency modulation (Pascal Beese- Vasbender, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung) and mitigation strategies for MIC (Geerke Maathuis, Bioclear).

The souring session looked at investigations of nitrate injection to mitigate the effects of souring. The effect of interrupting nitrate injection was explored. A 10-year study was also presented on the mechanism of souring and its control by long-term, field-wide injection of nitrate into a low temperature oil field. The MMM session gave some interesting presentations on ways to better identify bacteria that cause MIC and H2S production, including research into using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to identify live bacteria. The conference was brought to a close with presentations on novel ways to realise MEOR.

The RMF strives to listen to its delegates and ensure that the conference fits around their needs. An evaluation questionnaire was filled out at the end of the conference and it is evident that the quality of the technical presentations was high and the conference was well received.

RMF 20

The upcoming 20th Reservoir Microbiology Forum 2014 (RMF 20) will be held on 18–19 November 2014 in London (see p5). A first announcement highlighting key areas as well as the invitation and deadline for abstract submission will be published in April 2014. To celebrate the 20th year of the RMF, the event will host exhibitions to further encourage knowledge in the area of petroleum microbiology. The organising committe invites interested people to suggest relevant novel topics for RMF 20 and to submit their contributions for the upcoming event.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Microbes in oil E&P. Be the first to comment!