Treatment chemicals are used in all facets of the natural gas industry (NGI) from well development through transmission and storage of natural gas. The multitude of chemicals used, combined with the dozens of chemical manufacturers and/or suppliers has lead to the availability of hundreds of possible chemical products. Because of the widespread use of chemical products and their numerous sources, the NGI needs access to consistent data regarding their effectiveness and potential environmental impacts.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness and potential environmental impacts of chemical products used in the NGI. This assessment was initially focused on biocides and corrosion inhibitors and their use in the gas production, storage and transmission facilities, The overall approach was to obtain the necessary data on chemical use and effectiveness directly from the oil and gas industry, supplemented with data/information obtained from the published literature. Five case histories of chemical use were documented and evaluated to assess the effectiveness of these chemicals. Potential environmental impacts were addressed by performing a screening environmental assessment on the use of glutaraldehyde, a widely used biocide. Prototype discharge scenarios were formulated and modeled to evaluate potential impacts to groundwater and surface water.

The paper describes the basis for the study, provides an overview of chemical use with a focus on biocides and corrosion inhibitors, describes and assesses the specific uses of chemicals, and presents the results of the environmental assessment. It was found that various chemicals can be effective in treating microbiologically influenced corrosion and souring, but that the effectiveness of specific chemicals is dependent on the operational scenario and the site-specific conditions. Results of the screening environmental assessment indicated that surface and groundwater impacts were not significant for the scenarios evaluated.

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