Development of Autonomous Microbe Sensor (AMS) at Seawater Injection System (SWIS)
- Fahad Al-Abeedi (Saudi Arabian Oil Compmany) | Mohammed Al-Moniee (Saudi Arabian Oil Compmany) | Xiangyang Zhu (Saudi Arabian Oil Compmany)
- Document ID
- NACE International
- CORROSION 2019, 24-28 March, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. NACE International
- SWIS, MIC, mitigation, AMS, bacteria
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 5 since 2007
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Saudi Aramco’s seawater system is the largest in the world, covering a wide area, from the Qurayyah Seawater Plant (QSWP) on the Arabian Gulf to the Ghawar field, with a total length of 1900 kilometers of cross-country pipelines, ranging in size from 6 in. to 60 in. The main purpose of the system is to treat and transfer seawater to maintain reservoir pressure. The system’s design capacity is 12.5 million barrels of treated seawater per day.
Microbial growth in the water injection system is a well-known problem with severe operational and financial consequences for the petroleum industry, including microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC), reduced injectivity, reservoir plugging, production downtime, and extensive repair costs. Therefore, monitoring of system microbiology is essential in any mitigation strategy, enabling operators to apply and adjust countermeasures properly and in due time. To overcome the MIC challenges, Saudi Aramco, in collaboration with international company, has developed an Autonomous Microbe Sensor (AMS) technology (Bacteria Sensor) to detect & measure in real-time & on-line the bacteria counts in sea water injection system. AMS that is based on advanced staining of bacterial DNA, will provide bacterial results to operators within 1 hour. The technology will help in optimizing the biocide chemical consumption and ensuring adequate microbial control in the complex, Sea Water Injection System (SWIS). Thus, ensuring pipelines reliability and integrity.
Saudi Aramco has the largest SWIS in the world. The growth of microorganisms and the formation of biofilm on the pipeline’s inner surfaces and process equipment led to an array of challenges, including biofouling, water quality deterioration, injectivity loss, reservoir plugging, and MIC. A critical cornerstone in any effective mitigation strategy is the routine surveillance of the system microbiology, enabling operators to quickly apply and adjust microbiological countermeasures.
In the oil industry, the microbial number and activity are traditionally monitored with conventional growth methods that require manual sampling and handling. However, monitoring the microbial activity with conventional methods in this large system, especially at the remote locations, presents a long standing challenge to SWIS. An online and real-time microbial monitoring technology, suitable for the harsh environmental conditions in Saudi Arabia, is needed in order to guarantee the continued high quality of the water in the company’s seawater injection pipelines and at remote injection wells. Table 1 summarizes the SWIS challenges, solution, and potential benefits by implementing the online sensing technology. In addition, other potential benefits will also be realized by Production Department. For instance, high quality injection water and low bacteria activity will potentially reduce injectivity loss, and prevent reservoir plugging and souring.
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