Researchers at Battelle have developed a new method for rapid field detection of bacteria implicated in Microbially-Induced Corrosion (MIC). Now, Battelle is forming a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to complete laboratory and field validation studies and move the technology to commercialization.
MIC is a significant cause of asset damage for the oil & gas industry, impacting downhole, offshore and surface equipment. When left untreated, it can lead to asset failure resulting in production delays, flow disruption or even accidental releases. In order to select the appropriate treatment, operators need to know what kind of bacteria are causing the corrosion. Current practice is to send samples away to a lab for DNA analysis, but this can take days if not weeks. Battelle’s rapid field test for MIC allows operators to identify the genetic markers of a range of MIC-causing bacteria onsite using a simple hand-held detection device. Instead of waiting for days or weeks to get results, operators can now diagnose an MIC problem in the field within hours of collecting samples and start mitigating action right away.
The handheld detection kit has performed well in laboratory studies, providing fast and accurate detection and identification of certain common MIC-causing bacteria. Battelle is now ready to expand the range of bacteria groups and move into formal field validation studies of the technology with select industry partners. Participating JIP partners will have pre-sale access to the technology and the opportunity to participate in field trials at their work sites. They will also receive the data and results from these trials. In return, partners will share in the costs of the study.