Microbial-Influenced-Corrosion-Related Coiled-Tubing Failures and Equipment Damage

Fig. 1—Pitting in 4-in. 1502 iron used in fracturing in the Haynesville shale.

Microbial-influenced corrosion (MIC) has been implicated in few corrosion-related challenges in the well-service industry in the past. Recently, however, the industry is observing an increase of MIC-related equipment damage. This upsurge of MIC coincides with a switch to unconventional water sources, including recycled water. This paper is an overview of premature coiled-tubing and other-well-servicing-equipment failures and pumping-equipment damage related to MIC.


Recycled fracturing water has been found to contain high levels of bacteria, typically on the order of 106–109 colony-forming units (CFU) per mL. The bacteria can originate from essentially anywhere in the water-handling system: the water source, transportation, storage, pumps, or downhole. Tanks and pits used for storage of flowback water are ideal habitats for bacteria; typically, these are sessile environments; the water temperature is commonly 15–35°C; and organic compounds found in the water such as oil carry-over, surfactants, or polymers can be ideal carbon and energy sources for many microbial species. Higher-than-normal bacteria populations and clear evidence of MIC have been identified from flowback water in the Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Haynesville, and Horne River shale plays.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 173658, “Microbial-Influenced-Corrosion-Related Coiled-Tubing Failures and Equipment Damage,” by Scott Sherman, SPE, Duane Brownlee, SPE, andSarkis Kakadjian, SPE, Trican Well Service, prepared for the 2014 SPE Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 24–25 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Microbial-Influenced-Corrosion-Related Coiled-Tubing Failures and Equipment Damage

01 June 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 6


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