Microbial communities of six samples from Escravos and Meren oil production facility in Nigeria were examined after biocide treatment using cultural and molecular approaches. Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) count and activity were the highest in skimmer pit samples (1N1) which was affiliated with Euryarchchaeota (44%) and Proteobacteria (39%). Treatment of Meren injection water (1N2) with biocides significantly reduced SRB population (102 cell/ml). Sample 1N3 (produced water discharge area) and 1N5 (treated produced water) were dominated by 70.79 and 52% Euryarchaeota, respectively. 1N4 (partially treated produced water) was dominated by Euryarchaeota (51.78%) and Proteobacteria (38%), while 1N6 (produced oil) was dominated by Proteobacteria (28%) and Euryarchaeota (62.6%). Metabolic activities in 1N1, 1N4 and 1N5 were dominated by sulfate reduction and methanogenesis; however, that of 1N2 was dominated only by sulfate reduction, while 1N3 and 1N6 were dominated by methanogenesis. Anaerobic incubation of 1N1 samples gave relatively higher corrosion rates (0.065 mm/year) while 1N2, 1N3 and 1N5 gave moderate corrosion rates (0.018 to 0.037 mm/year). This investigation in a Nigerian oil facility have substantially expanded our knowledge on the extent of microbial diversity in these fields after routine biocide treatment and have also shown the abundance and complexity of microbial communities in these fields that have potential to initiate souring and corrosion despite regular biocide treatment.
Key words: Sulfate reduction, methanogenesis, corrosion, souring, microbial diversity.
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