Over the past decades, a suite of microbiological and molecular methods has become available to the oil and gas industry to gauge the adverse effect of microbes in installations. A significant challenge exists to compare the output of the different techniques and interpret results to best effect.

In this case study field samples have been collected and analyzed from offshore and onshore oil and gas facilities. While some analysis was conducted in the field, other techniques required sample preservation for laboratory-based analysis at other locations. Samples underwent a range of different monitoring techniques: Single Series Dilution (SSD), ATP measurement, qPCR analysis, and 454 pyrosequencing, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) technique.

The problems in oil and gas facilities caused by microbial growth are well known, risking efficiency, production and revenue. Suitable analysis of industry infrastructure is important in order to understand the health of the system and to appropriately apply suitable mitigation. The case study aims to illustrate how these analyses can be used complementarily.

In this paper the results of the different analyses are outlined, illustrated with particular examples. These results are used to build a comprehensive picture of the health of different areas of the facilities. Furthermore, the relative advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are reviewed, illustrated with first-hand field data from the field, comparing the benefits and limitations of the techniques and how they might work in a complementary way. In addition data will be used to illustrate how resources can be targeted in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness and minimize costs. The results from a selection of different samples types (planktonic, sessile) are discussed in this paper.

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