Oil and gas are vital to many industries and are of great importance to maintaining industrial civilisation as we know it. The process by which the fuel industry operates is a complex one, from the extraction of oil and gas from deep underground and offshore, to its transportation to refineries and chemical plants for further processing. Microbial control technology plays an important role at each stage, facilitating safe and reliable operations, while at the same time making sure that the hard-to-obtain resources are conserved until they can be further processed.
The conditions in which oil and gas are often extracted and their subsequent transportation to refineries is conducive to bacterial growth, thus biocides are used to control the growth of various types of bacteria. Without effective treatment, microbial contamination can cause pipeline and equipment corrosion, the souring and plugging of wells and reservoirs, which consequently reduces flow rates.
The presence of water is the main determinant for microbial growth in fuels. Water dissolved in fuel can condense on tank walls and moisture in the air can enter through floating tank lids or other vents, or leave sediment or sludge harbouring microorganisms. As in most cases of microbial bio-deterioration of materials, the best control treatment is prevention. The use of microbial control products in fuel storage tanks helps reduce bacteria, algae, and biofilm formation; aids in the control of microbial influenced corrosion and reduces reservoir-souring, protecting fuel efficiently.