MICRO ORGANISMS MECHANISM
How do they work, how much do I use. how often do I use it; how do I know its working and is it cost effective? These are the questions most encountered about Paragone TM microbial products. The past two months I have spent considerable time in applying simple scientific methods to develop understandable, repeatable and verifiable answers to these questions. To understand this, one must go back to the original question, “how do they work”?
The field of microbiology is an extremely complex discipline, which deals with the life processes of microscopic organisms. These life forms include bacteria, algae, protozoa and fungi, of which the first two classes have always been of primary interest to the petroleum industry. However, the balance of this discussion will concentrate on bacteria.
Bacteria are broadly classified according to morphology, nutrient requirements and oxygen requirements
I. Morphology divides bacteria according to shape and manner of clustering. The three basic divisions are as follows:
A. Coccus - spherically shaped
B. Bacillus - rod shaped
C. Spirillum - spirally shaped; curved rod shaped.
II. Nutrient requirements include autotrophic and heterotrophic divisions.
A. Autotrophic bacteria use inorganic materials as a source of nutrients, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
B. Heterotrophic bacteria metabolize organic materials, such as hydrocarbons (saturated and unsaturated), organic acids and amines.
III. The need for dissolved molecular oxygen further classifies bacteria as aerobic or anaerobic. A. Aerobic bacteria utilize dissolved oxygen in the respiratory process.
B. Anaerobic bacteria live in the absence of oxygen by decomposing chemical species containing oxygen such as sulfate, carbonate, phosphate and nitrate.
C. The terms obligate and facultative are used to clarity areas when overlap occurs. An obligate anaerobic requires oxygen-free environment while a facultative anaerobic prefers an oxygen-free environment but is capable of living in the presence of oxygen.
With this minimal knowledge of microorganisms, its understandable how and why combinations of specific facultative anaerobic autotrophic/heterotrophic bacteria used in ParagoneTM are selected to perform specific functions. Paragone M bacteria are utilized for their ability to perform these basic life functions:
Digestion: the intake of substances and the excretion of by-products such as fatty acids, fatty alcohols, and fatty aldehydes. surfactants, polysaccharides, etc.
Respiration: the gaseous consumption and exchange; such as the autotroph consumption of free oxygen lessening or eliminating emulsions, corrosion, and the formation of certain oil field scales.
DECTECTION OF PARAGONE™
To answer questions of “how much and how often” I need to find a way to detect Paragone™ microbes from others that may exist in the system. First I tested a system with no Paragone™ in the fluids and used standard growth media to detect aerobic and anaerobic sulfate reducing bacteria. After detecting no presence of any bacteria, I injected known quantities (ppm) of Paragone™ into fluids from the same system. Then using the extinction dilution technique these known quantities of Paragone™ were cultured in the same medium as before. Very quickly the ParagoneT™ took a strong liking to the Phenol Red medium where as in previous experiences other species took weeks before noticeable detection and never the colors the Paragone™ makes.
At Battery 10 when the cuts go up, virtually no Paragone™ was detected and when the product was re-energized with 1000 to 9999 colonies per ml, they were easily, detectable. Also, visual differences in water quality are quite apparent.
This same method is being used on the Frontier well being treated for paraffin and should help us on determining frequency and volumes with some more scientific investigation.
Another detection method being looked at is the Millipore Total-Count Water Tester. For now I feel comfortable with the extinction dilution method and believe much more benefit may be derived.
Recently I competed in a Demulsifier Bottle test in the Basin using Paragone-M™ and MicroClean™ and finished l and 2 with Paragone-M™ leaving the best water quality. This gives us another test tool for treating ratio's on surface and downhole treatments.
The best way to answer, “do I know its working?”, is though a diligent and consistent monitoring system. With a clear understanding of goals, baseline data can be collected before starting a new microbial program. Currently the following methods are being used to monitor this program.
1. Oil and grease counts
2. Weight loss coupons
3. Fe and Mn counts
4. Oil Cuts
5. Pulling Reports
6. Production Tests
7. Observation of pulled wells
Prior to Paragone™ treatments, the wells averaged 8 pulls per year due to paraffin related problems.