Microbes Can Shed Light on Cleaner Operations

In oil fields, microscopic organisms produce hydrogen sulfide that can corrode steel pipes and tanks. While this often poses a costly challenge to operators, these populations are actually a valuable source of information that can optimize oil and gas operations.

Information revealed by microbial life helps operators make informed decisions that reduce costs and make the oil extraction process cleaner. By studying microbial presence through molecular biology, we can discover

  • The efficacy of certain chemicals
  • Elements of the hidden environments from which microbial samples are taken, such as the inside of oil tanks or pipes
  • The risk of oil fields getting an inflammation

DuPont Microbial Control research scientist and “microbial detective,” Geert van der Kraan, shares the clues that microbial life leaves behind to help make the extraction process cleaner in a recent TED Talk.



Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter.  If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.





HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.