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Remediation of Microbially Contaminated Horizontal Wells with Acrolein

Product Number: 51320-14992-SG
Author: Jodi B. Wrangham, Adam Bounds, Jerry L. Conaway, Jim Ott, Mason Long, and Corey Stevens
Publication Date: 2020

The lengthy laterals of horizontal wells often pose microbiological challenges, as they provide more area to become microbially contaminated and require larger volumes of fluid and biocide for treatment. A Permian Basin oilfield has been experiencing MIC-related failures in its horizontal wells, which is of concern due to the associated high workover cost.   

Laboratory biocide challenge testing identified several common oilfield chemistries and combinations thereof as being effective against this field’s population of microbes.  However, aggressive applications of these products in the field neither delivered an effective microbial kill nor prevented the treated wells from experiencing further MIC and failures. 

An acrolein field trial was conducted on a set of problematic, microbially contaminated horizontal wells over a time period of approximately one year.  During this timeframe, these wells experienced microbial control for the first time, defined as meeting and maintaining microbial KPIs.  Additional benefits were realized as a result of acrolein, including a dramatic improvement in water quality evident as a decrease in iron sulfide and suspended solids, a clean-out of the wells inferred by an initial increase of solids post-acrolein, a decrease in the corrosion rate as indicated by a significant reduction in iron and manganese counts, a decrease in the well failure rate, an increase in production, and an overall cost savings associated with the application of acrolein.