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51318-10567-Investigation of the impact of an enhanced oil recovery polymer on microbial growth and MIC

A commercial cellulose-based polymer (carboxymethyl cellulose sodium) was tested to see whether it could be utilized by an oilfield biofilm consortium including sulfate reducing bacteria.

Product Number: 51318-10567-SG
Author: Ru Jia / Dongqing Yang / Hasrizal Bin Abd Rahman / Tingyue Gu
Publication Date: 2018
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In the oil and gas industry, water flooding, often with a polymer additive, is used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to increase reservoir pressure because reservoirs are aging. This practice causes operational concerns because water flooding brings nutrients and microbes downhole, which may allow microbes to flourish. Polymers such as carboxymethyl cellulose sodium are used in EOR to increase the viscosity of the injection water. However, there is a possibility that EOR polymers may be utilized as a carbon source by microbes downhole causing reservoir souring and microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). In this work, carboxymethyl cellulose sodium (3,000 ppm by mass) was found to be utilized by an oilfield biofilm consortium containing various microbes including sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and biodegradation microbes during a 30-day anaerobic incubation test at 37oC. The polymer utilization increased the planktonic cell count and SRB sessile cell count in anaerobic vials with 100 ml artificial seawater. After the 30-day incubation, the polymer utilization led to 16% viscosity loss. The utilization also slightly increased weight loss and pitting corrosion on C1018 carbon steel.

Key words: microbiologically influenced corrosion, biofilm, enhanced oil recovery, reservoir, polymer, biodegradation

 

In the oil and gas industry, water flooding, often with a polymer additive, is used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to increase reservoir pressure because reservoirs are aging. This practice causes operational concerns because water flooding brings nutrients and microbes downhole, which may allow microbes to flourish. Polymers such as carboxymethyl cellulose sodium are used in EOR to increase the viscosity of the injection water. However, there is a possibility that EOR polymers may be utilized as a carbon source by microbes downhole causing reservoir souring and microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). In this work, carboxymethyl cellulose sodium (3,000 ppm by mass) was found to be utilized by an oilfield biofilm consortium containing various microbes including sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and biodegradation microbes during a 30-day anaerobic incubation test at 37oC. The polymer utilization increased the planktonic cell count and SRB sessile cell count in anaerobic vials with 100 ml artificial seawater. After the 30-day incubation, the polymer utilization led to 16% viscosity loss. The utilization also slightly increased weight loss and pitting corrosion on C1018 carbon steel.

Key words: microbiologically influenced corrosion, biofilm, enhanced oil recovery, reservoir, polymer, biodegradation

 

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