HOUSTON — DNV is working alongside ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co. and Microbial Insights in a joint industry project (JIP) to develop next-generation microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) detection, monitoring and mitigation technologies.
According to DNV, estimated global costs are projected at $2.5 trillion.
MIC is difficult to detect and monitor, but taking early action to mitigate its effects can safeguard operations and the environment by, for instance, reducing the risk of costly pipeline failures.
The project, which is assembling MIC specialists from across the industry, is seeking to create up to 1,200 datapoints of corrosion-to-biomarker correlations, generated on simulated pipelines with actual field waters and participant-chosen service conditions.
The aims are to develop methods, tools and workflows (biomarker technology) to improve detection of MIC in oilfield operations, using advanced laboratory (bio)reactors and molecular analytical platforms developed specifically for MIC biomarker discovery and KPIs.
Richard S. Barnes, DNV’s region president, Energy Systems North America, said, “Working with Exxon Mobil…we will unravel the most relevant MIC mechanisms prevalent in oil and gas operations to better understand their impact on corrosion. The focus of the JIP is to develop leading indicators, which allow operators to develop and implement the right approach to address MIC in its earliest stages, protecting people and the environment while ensuring continuous, safe operations.”
Dr. Susmitha Purnima Kotu, DNV JIP lead, added, “The MIC biomarkers identified during this JIP could also be used to monitor and manage MIC for other applications, including underground gas storage, offshore wind turbines, cooling water plants, water storage tanks, drinking water pipelines, ship hulls, fuel tanks, etc.”
MIC is most commonly diagnosed through analysis of metal-associated biofilms after damage has already occurred and other mechanisms have been excluded as root causes.
So, the management of MIC remains significant, DNV said, with the industry continuing to experience cases of shortened service life infrastructure due to undetected, harmful microbial activity.
It intends to partner with up to 10 further participants in the project that bring a history of MIC or that have areas of interest for use in laboratory simulation, which can support generating samples to aid biomarker discovery.