Individual Project 2 << back
Industrial sector: the oil & gas industry
Research sub-programme: water injection systems
Scientists-in-charge: Régine BASSEGUY & Mathieu BERGE
Title: new biocorrosion experimental models from the field
Field problem addressed:
Biocorrosion in offshore water injection systems results in extensive and costly damage to the equipment and additional production losses due to the shutting down of the production units for several weeks. Water injection systems are widely used in the Oil industry, both on- shore and off-shore, in order to pressure up the hydrocarbon reservoirs and increase/maintain the oil production yield over a longer period of time. The injected fluid can be produced water (e.g. extracted from the hydrocarbon stream), sea water, aquifer water (e.g. extracted from water-bearing formations), or river water. The water is pumped through carbon steel flow-lines and pipes that are subject to biocorrosion at high rates (several mm/year). It is important to better manage biocorrosion during the injection operations, in order to reduce costs, and for safety & environmental reasons. Therefore, it is necessary to develop more knowledge about biocorrosion formation, monitoring and mitigation.
Today, in anaerobic biocorrosion, most of the knowledge concerns Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB). Recent studies have demonstrated the contribution of other bacterial genus like Geobacter sulfurreducens to biocorrosion. The objective of the IP is to identify new biocorrosion mechanisms (involving new microbial genera) for those cases where SRB theory is not relevant. New experimental models able to reproduce biocorrosion cases observed in the field will then be developed in the laboratory. The work will be performed in close collaboration with DNV and Statoil Hydro: they will provide the research team with field samples of biocorrosion (material, biofilm, bulk environment) from typical sites where corrosion problems have been recorded. All efforts will be made to cultivate the predominant genera/species within these samples that are suspected to contribute to the corrosion. These experiments will be carried out under controlled conditions as close as possible to the real environment, in order to reproduce in the lab the corroding effect observed in the field. New models of biocorrosion will be given and confronted to real field cases. The final goal is to answer one of the main requests of the industrialists: to better understand the biocorrosion process. Having new pertinent and reproducible models will also help them to evaluate new efficient prevention and mitigation solutions respecting the environment.
O. Rosas-Camacho - Experienced researcher, M. Macdonald - Visiting scientist