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Microbial Formation Damage

COREX have developed methods to study the damaging effects bacteria can produce in hydrocarbon formations.

A major problem when considering drilling / production operations is whether the chemicals used will cause damage in the reservoir. A growing area of concern is the formation damage mechanisms produced by various types of bacteria, such as reservoir souring as a result of sulphate reducing bacteria activity.

COREX has developed techniques to study the origin of the bacteria, whether they are introduced during your drilling operations, sea-water injection or are indigenous to your reservoir. COREX have designed tests to examine what effect chemical treatments such as scale inhibitor squeeze programs, polymer sweep efficiency and clay fines stabilisers will have on bacteria present within a reservoir and if the bacteria has caused other types of formation damage.

The ability to predict and control bacterial activity is of major operational significance.

COREX's research has identified the problems associated with the introduction of sulphate reducing bacteria into wells during drilling. The bacteria multiply rapidly and cause considerable formation damage, vastly reducing production. A 1% reduction in permeability caused by the growth of sulphate reducing bacteria in the immediate well-bore region can cost an oil company millions of dollars over the life of a typical field.

Below are related papers published by COREX that may be of further interest:

  • "Observed Variations in Hydrocarbon Reservoir Bacterial Populations with Temperature: A First Step in Modeling the Bacterial Populations of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs"
  • "Microbially Induced Formation Damage in Oilfield Reservoirs"

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