Emerging molecular methods based on the analysis of DNA extracted from field samples provide a new opportunity to characterize microbial populations associated with corrosion problems in the oil and gas industry. This paper reports the application of these methods to samples obtained from the excavation of external corrosion sites under disbonded coating on an operating transmission pipeline. Insights into the nature of the microbial communities associated with corrosion products, trapped water, coating and soil will be presented along with an assessment of the potential of this approach for future investigations.

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