In the Lab: Measuring Microbial Treatment Success

Operators who use our microbial treatment to mitigate paraffin, scale and, corrosion in water systems sometimes ask us, “How do I know how well the treatment is working?” Or, “What are the key performance indicators of successful treatments?"

Those are great questions! And they’re exactly the same questions we want to stay on top of and give answers to. JGL's treatment success monitoring verifies that our microbial solutions are effective and efficient in keeping injection systems clean and free-flowing. So how do we monitor these things?

JGL Solutions has a full service laboratory to do exactly that. A JGL field technician gathers samples before the start of a treatment to establish baseline data. Every month following treatment, we gather samples and run a series of tests to measure progress and any other changes in the system.

The three monthly tests are as follows:

Millipore Filtration Analysis

The Millipore Filtration Analysis is a simple procedure developed to estimate the amount of particulate contamination in water. The method is accepted industry-wide to estimate the rate at which solids fouling occur in injection systems. The purpose of the Millipore Filtration Analysis is to monitor the quality of the water in a waterflood or SWD.

We get a picture of three main issues:

  1. The total volume of water filtered
  2. The plugging factor
  3. The presence/concentration of filtered solids

The filtered solids include oils, paraffins, asphaltenes, carbonates, irons and acid insoluble.

At the start of a treatment this information gives our team the tools they need to select and blend microbes that will be most effective for the system. The microbial treatment prevents these solids from sticking and forming new scale and breaks down existing scale to be flushed harmlessly out of the system.

By testing the water monthly for solid contamination, we are monitoring the effectiveness of our treatments and identifying any changes in incoming water. In injection systems, a new well can be added or an existing well may be shut in—both of these changes can alter the water’s composition. Additionally, a new source of incoming water may also change its chemistry. JGL's monthly sampling and testing allows our team to sustain effective microbial treatment in any type of environment, whether it changes or not.

Water Analysis

The purpose of the Water Analysis is to monitor the water for potential formation of harmful solids in the system. After various tests, we run calculations regarding the presence and tendency of waterborne elements to form scale. For example, in a system that has high levels of calcium, chlorides, bicarbonates, and a higher pH is more likely to precipitate calcium carbonate scale. Using this information, JGL can adjust the microbial blend to address the chance of a problem before it occurs.

A few other elements we test for are iron, barium, hydrogen sulfide, chloride, sulfate, carbon dioxide, and more. This is another tool that allows us to keep our microbial treatment tuned in to the existing conditions for each system.

Oil in Water

The Oil in Water Analysis highlights oil carryover and emulsion. This analysis is usually limited to waterfloods as opposed to SWDs. The source of oil is from the same formation in waterfloods, where SWDs usually have various oil sources/formations. The consistency of oil source is important for this test exclusively because of turbidity variations in different oils, which make accurate analysis impossible. The Oil in Water result is included on the Water Analysis Form, if applicable.

One of JGL Solutions' goals is to ensure the best value and effectiveness for operators. Our monthly lab analyses provide operators with tangible key performance indicators of microbial treatment success in their systems.

To learn more or schedule a water sampling for a quote and analysis, please contact us here.

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Explore our most frequently asked questions.

FAQ Page

Is there a different microbe product for each issue I have?

There are different strains of microbes for different issues. JGL Microbes are able to blend into one treatment, tailor-made to your system.

Why use microbes instead of chemical?

Synthetic chemicals are man-made copies of naturally occurring chemicals in nature and are for the most part toxic and/or environmentally harmful to personnel, plants, animals, aquifers, etc. Microbes are more effective than chemical because of their biological process, they produce natural chemicals and by-products in situ making them much more effective for common oilfield applications.