Management and control of microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) in the oil and gas industry - Overview and a North Sea case study

Torben Lund Skovhus, Richard B Eckert, Edgar Rodrigues

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


    Microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) is the terminology applied where the actions of microorganisms influence the corrosion process. In literature, terms such as microbial corrosion, biocorrosion, microbially influenced/induced corrosion, and biodegradation are often applied. MIC research in the oil and gas industry has seen a revolution over the past decade, with the introduction of molecular microbiological methods: (MMM) as well as new industry standards and procedures of sampling biofilm and corrosion products from the process system. This review aims to capture the most important trends the oil and gas industry has seen regarding MIC research over the past decade. The paper starts out with an overview of where in the process stream MIC occurs - from the oil reservoir to the consumer. Both biotic and abiotic corrosion mechanisms are explained in the context of managing MIC using a structured corrosion management (CM) approach. The corrosion management approach employs the elements of a management system to ensure that essential corrosion control activities are carried out in an effective, sustainable, well-planned and properly executed manner. The 3-phase corrosion management approach covering of both biotic and abiotic internal corrosion mechanisms consists of 1) corrosion assessment, 2) corrosion mitigation and 3) corrosion monitoring. Each of the three phases are described in detail with links to recent field cases, methods, industry standards and sampling protocols. In order to manage the corrosion threat, operators commonly use models to support decision making. The models use qualitative, semi-quantitative or quantitative measures to help assess the rate of degradation caused by MIC. The paper reviews four existing models for MIC Threat Assessment and describe a new model that links the threat of MIC in the oil processing system located on an offshore platform with a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach. A recent field case highlights and explains the conflicting historic results obtained through serial dilution of culture media using the most probable number (MPN) method as compared to data obtained from corrosion monitoring and the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method. Results from qPCR application in the field case have changed the way MIC is monitored on the oil production facility in the North Sea. A number of high quality resources have been published as technical conference papers, books, educational videos and peer-reviewed scientific papers, and thus we end the review with an updated list of state-of-the-art resources for anyone desiring to become more familiar with the topic of MIC in the upstream oil and gas sector.

    TidsskriftJournal of Biotechnology
    Udgave nummerAugust 2017
    Sider (fra-til)31-45
    Antal sider14
    StatusUdgivet - 20 aug. 2017