New ASTM Test Method Addresses Corrosion in Petrochemical Pipelines

The annual estimated cost of microbiologically induced corrosion to the oil and gas industry ranges from $4 billion to $30 billion.

ASTM International announced Jan. 21 a new test method that will help refining, petrochemical, and pipeline companies to detect quantities of a corrosion-inducing bacteria in water. Real-time detection of such bacteria allows faster and more accurate remediation, which reduces corrosion costs in pipelines and equipment, according to ASTM.

"Sulfate-reducing bacteria has been identified as a major contributor to microbiologically induced corrosion," said ASTM International member Alan McQuillin, senior vice president of operations and technology at Modern Water, adding that the annual estimated cost of such corrosion to the oil and gas industry ranges from $4 billion to $30 billion. "The proposed method allows for significantly faster and easier detection of the bacteria versus conventional test methods," he said.

ASTM International's D19 committee on water developed the new standard, which will soon be published as D8243. The test outlined in the standard uses the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect sulfate-reducing bacteria. Laboratories supporting petrochemical and pipeline companies could find the standard useful, ASTM reported.

The committee's next meeting will take place June 24-26 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

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