Corrosion of low carbon steel by microorganisms from the ‘pigging’ operation debris in water injection pipelines

Claudia Cote, Omar Rosas, Magdalena Sztyler, Jemimah Doma, Iwona Beech, Régine Basseguy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Present in all environments, microorganisms develop biofilms adjacent to the metallic structures creating corrosion conditions which may cause production failures that are of great economic impact to the industry. The most common practice in the oil and gas industry to annihilate these biofilms is the mechanical cleaning known as “pigging”. In the present work, microorganisms from the “pigging” operation debris are tested biologically and electrochemically to analyse their effect on the corrosion of carbon steel. Results in the presence of bacteria display the formation of black corrosion products allegedly FeS and a sudden increase (more than 400 mV) of the corrosion potential of electrode immersed in artificial seawater or in field water (produced water mixed with aquifer seawater). Impedance tests provided information about the mechanisms of the interface carbon steel/bacteria depending on the medium used: mass transfer limitation in artificial seawater was observed whereas that in field water was only charge transfer phenomenon. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) results proved that bacterial diversity decreased when cultivating the debris in the media used and suggested that the bacteria involved in the whole set of results are mainly sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB) and some other bacteria that make part of the taxonomic order Clostridiales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
Early online date20 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • low acrbon steel
  • electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • pigging debris
  • anaerobic biocorrosion
  • gel electrophoresis


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