Worldwide, the production of natural gas and now oil from shale basins (source rock) has been embraced as a commercially viable way of producing unconventional energy resources leading to a revolution in gas production in the US. Developments to invest in and tap into this alternative way of gas production are taking off in Europe and Asia. Hydraulic fracturing is a proven technology, used for many years to develop hydrocarbon resources. Successful strategies with hydraulic fracturing include the safe and effective use of chemical additives, proper well casing and robust water management programs.

During the exploitation of hydrocarbons from shales, chemical additives such as corrosion inhibitors, gelling agents, biocides etc, have to be used in the fracturing of wells. Sustainable chemistries and effective product stewardship programs are required to minimize environmental and human exposure hazards. The addition of water with organic molecules to the actual fractured wells makes these environments subject to unwanted growth of microorganisms and biofilm development, which has detrimental effects on hydrocarbon flow and leads to pipeline/equipment corrosion. Often the presence of sulfate reducing microorganisms leads to unwanted H2S production and subsequently souring. Due to this, water cycle management and properly designed microbial control programs for all water sources including injected water or produced water, are required. Because the microbial challenges and environmental parameters of these water sources vary, different microbial control strategies and treatments are required for each source.

New formulations of biocides and control programs aimed at the needs of the gas and oil industry have been developed, e.g. improved heat stability and the reduction in biocide levels to achieve the same level of microbial control. These newly developed microbial control technologies will be presented in this paper, and the related regulatory and product stewardship support will be shortly addressed.

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