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Written by Zeta Angelich, MS. , Jeff Donahue, and Dennis Schneider, Ph.D.
"Not all bacteria are created equal. As with antibiotics, different types are better for different conditions” Dr. Ranit Mishori
There are “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria. “Not all bacteria are created equal. As with antibiotics, different types are better for different conditions” as stated in a report by Dr. Ranit Mishori in a recent article in Parade Magazine entitled “Food with ‘Good Bacteria’ Can Improve Health.” It is the same with its use in the petroleum industry, but sadly bacteria, or microbes which are the same, have a bad reputation and only through the education of the benefits of bacteria to solve oil and gas well problems will the industry reap its benefits.
The successful use of “good” microbes in the petroleum industry is not new. For over 20 years, Micro-Bac International has been a pioneer in new techniques for using specific microbial cultures for different uses. From the first commercially successful use of microorganisms to control paraffin, we have used our products to control scale, corrosion, and asphaltenes. In recent years our focus has been on well stimulation; actually increasing the production of existing oil wells. The average increase in production is 30% with generally no increase in water cut. There are additional benefits to microbial treatments. Electrical costs can be reduced by reduction of drag on the pump rods due to control of paraffin accumulation. The cost of water injection in water floods or water disposal systems can be reduced by reducing plugging in the system or the formation. Sludge can also be removed from petroleum storage tanks.
A particular dramatic success story of the use of Micro-Bac “microbes” is one Alaskan Well with $0.00 production in a 1 ½ year period that was scheduled for a plug and abandon. After analyzing the well and prescribing the proper treatment with our bacteria product, within six months it had produced 363,000 barrels of oil.
Part of the problem associated with microbial use in the oil field has been a past of history of “snake oil” salesmen giving bacteria a bad name. Armed in many cases with only the term “bugs” as a sales tool, and no additional technical backing, they peddled bacteria out of the back of pick up trucks across the oil patch and cared only about the immediate cash sale, not the performance of the product for their customer. Many of these products were not fully developed before introduction to the market and these companies did not know how to analyze oil samples or well history well enough to offer not only the correct version of their products or even the correct volume of product to treat the well.
A recent customer of Micro-Bac International, Inc. purchased bacteria/microbe products of ours to deal with severe paraffin problems in a well. The foreman was given the correct treatment protocol for his test wells, but decided to use ½ the prescribed dose thinking he could save money. The treatment did reduce the paraffin but it did not last as long as it would have had the correct dose been used initially which would have made them thousands of dollars. This company is placing a new order and has agreed to follow the prescribed protocol to maximize their return. This is why some companies are not successful because their focus is often on immediate savings. He focus should be on using a successful technology that could transform the way oil field problems are handled.
People in the oil industry know that every field has unique characteristics that must be dealt with to maximize production. For that reason Micro-Bac offers a wide variety of solutions to address the complete range of carbon chains and corrosion found in reservoirs. An added bonus is that our products are environmentally safer than chemicals and leave a low carbon imprint.
“In the final analysis, all of life happens at a microscopic level. It is created at that level, it is altered at that level, and it can pollute at that level. Naturally, it only makes sense that it must be corrected at that level.” states Dennis R. Schneider, PhD., Vice President Director of Research & Development for Micro-Bac International, Inc.
Visit www.micro-bac.com and click on OIL FIELD for more information about Micro-Bac products, plus case studies dealing with some of the problems that we have corrected. We also provide services and products for bioremediation, water and wastewater treatment, food processing, and animal waste.
Zeta Angelich is the Director of Marketing for Micro-Bac International, Inc., Round Rock, Texas.
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About the Author
Director of Marketing, Micro-Bac International, Inc., Round Rock, Texas; Adjunct Professor St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas
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