Microbial Flora in a Number of Oilfield Water-Injection Systems
- V. Carlson (U. of Houston) | E.O. Bennett (U. of Houston) | J.A. Rowe Jr. (Gulf Oil Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- June 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 71 - 80
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 3.4.5 Bacterial Contamination and Control, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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This report concerns the microbial flora found throughout the surface facilities of six water-injection systems in Texas and Oklahoma. Each system is described in detail and water quality data are presented when available.
Pseudomonads and sulfate-reducers (Desulfovibrio) were the predominate organisms found in the systems. The genera Sphaerotilus, Bacillus, Achromobacter, Micrococcus, Clostridium, Flavobacterium, and Sarcina were also isolated in significant numbers. Molds, iron bacteria, sulfur bacteria and soil bacteria were found less frequently in the systems.
It is concluded that a complex microbiological flora exists in oilfield water-injection systems. A tendency for waters to deteriorate in passage through solid bed filters is also noted.
The injection of water into a subsurface formation is often accompanied by numerous problems, the origin and nature of which are only partially understood. During the past few years, investigators have indicated that bacteria are involved in some of these problems even though very little specific information is available concerning this matter.
It is surprising that investigators working on microbiological problems in water injection have never made a complete study of the flora of these systems. The logical course to pursue is that of identifying the microbial flora and then examining each organism individually and in combination with others to determine if they produce a particular problem.
The objective of the present investigation is to identify the microbial flora in water-injection systems. In addition, the quality of the water in most of the systems was determined and some observations made on the extent to which passage through surface-handling facilities affects water quality. The information derived from this study can serve as a foundation for additional basic investigations.
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