Promotor that Accelerates Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion [ID 10003]



Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) is a major problem in the oil and gas industry and other industries such as water utility throughout the world. Currently, MIC is mitigated primarily using pigging and/or biocides that can be very expensive in large-scale applications. An improperly maintained pipeline may result in MIC pitting that leads to pinhole leaks costing billions of dollars in lost production, pipeline replacement and clean up.


The invention deals with the premise that promoters that are naturally secreted by some synergistic microbes in a biofilm community greatly accelerate MIC pitting due to sulfate reducing bacteria. This means that a corrosive biofilm in the presence of these promoters poses a much bigger problem. In addition to traditional testing of microbial cell counts, testing the presence of promoters helps identify a more realistic MIC pitting threat and this is needed for pipeline operators and others to determine mitigation strategies.


According to a study conducted by NACE entitled “Corrosion Costs and Preventative Strategies“, the figure for corrosion for all industries runs at about $276 billion dollars per year in the US alone. The report states that the average annual cost related to corrosion is estimated at $7 billion to monitor, replace, and maintain pipelines and other key pieces. The corrosion-related cost of operation and maintenance makes up 80% of this cost.