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Pipeline Integrity Monitoring Programmes for Monitoring Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion using Molecular Microbiological Methods


August 2013


The 4th International Symposium on Applied Microbiology and Molecular Biology in Oil Systems (ISMOS-4)

Rio de Janerio, Brasil


Oral Presentation


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Pipeline Integrity Monitoring Programmes for Monitoring MIC using Molecular Microbiological Methods (MMM)

Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) is estimated to cost the oil and gas industry billions of dollars each year due to capital costs in replacing and repairing pipelines and equipment, and from revenue losses due to lost production. Therefore, it is crucial that well planned pipeline monitoring programmes are in place to assess the corrosion status of a pipeline and ensure effective mitigation strategies are in place to minimise the risk of a pipeline failure due to MIC.

This presentation will discuss the key aspects that form the basis of an effective pipeline integrity monitoring programme for MIC and biofouling, with the need to take both biotic and abiotic samples. The application of molecular microbiological monitoring (MMM) techniques and the advantages that they convey over traditional microbiological methods will be discussed. Some of the MMM techniques that will be discussed include reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) for the assessment of microbial activity e.g. sulphate-reducing microorganisms, and the application of Live / Dead qPCR for rapid enumeration of live microorganisms using qPCR.

Finally the presentation will conclude with several case studies where good monitoring regimes have identified potential problems with pipelines allowing proactive decisions to be made to rectify the problem before a severe pipeline failure could occur, resulting in very significant cost savings for the operator.