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A Novel Technique for Prevention of Microbial Corrosion

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The activity of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) can cause many industrial problems in oil and gas production. SRB activity can account for the reduction of quality of product due to the souring of wells through hydrogen sulfide production and the corrosion of tubulars, which leads to a reduction in wellbore radius and an increase in total suspended solids (TSS). Historically, SRB problems have not been handled with preventative measures. The oil industry has a "wait and see" attitude to this problem. Since SRB causes corrosion, this attitude can cause permanent damage to production wells. Current prevention practices include injecting harmful and expensive chemicals into the formation. Depending on the situation, production may have to be shut down to achieve limited and temporary results. Microwave and ultrasonic irradiation have been proposed to prevent corrosion by eliminating SRB. The effects of microwave and ultrasound on SRB have been studied and experimental results are presented. By utilizing microwave or ultrasound irradiation, one can continuously eliminate SRB in the injection and production wells, thus removing the persistent problems associated with it.
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Keywords: microbial corrosion; microwave irradiation; sulfate reducing bacteria; ultrasound irradiation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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