MIC assessment and management in O&G facilities depends on the accurate and early evaluation of microbial communities involved in material degradation. Traditional monitoring by culture-based methods allow the detection only 0.1% of the microorganisms in the sample, underestimating the real bacterial concentration in the samples, and in some cases, their potentiality for corrosion. However, novel molecular-biology based strategies may overcome these issues offering more reliable and sensitive tools for the study of microbial communities.

The novel methodologies have been useful for the study and understanding of microbial populations in diverse environments, including general environmental samples, water reservoirs, ocean samples and the human microbiome as well. In this context, we aimed to gain a general understanding of microbiomes and their correlation with microbially induced corrosion processes in O&G production systems in Argentina.

To achieve our goal, we studied more the 500 samples collected from production and injection wells, and water- and crude-treatment facilities. The sampling strategy included obtaining samples of crude oil, water and solid resides collected from filters and scrapers. The samples collected are representative of conventional and non-conventional production processes and were distributed along the Argentinean productive basins.

Amplicon sequencing based on the 16S rRNA gene, also known as 16S metagenomics, allowed the identification of the 1000 most relevant microbial taxa native to the production facilities and their correlation to MIC. Overall, our results allowed the identification and classification of microbial taxa native to O&G facilities. This microbial map allowed a better understanding of the microbial distribution and the individual contribution of each microbiome to distinct mitigation strategies. From this integral study, we also highlight the potential impact of individual species to the corrosion process, and collectively demonstrate that sulfate-reducing bacteria are just the tip of the iceberg in an integral process that includes many others biological process beyond just sulfate reduction.

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