What is the best way to monitor oilfield microbes?

NCIMB has worked with biofilms from various locations and in a number of different ways over the years, but the main area that we have focused on is the monitoring of microbial populations in biofilms that influence microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) in offshore oil and gas production facilities. It is important that oil and gas operators monitor the location, prevalence and diversity of these populations in order to generate data to aid the mitigation of the effects of pitting corrosion. Such localised corrosion is difficult to predict and detect – and can lead to sudden failures that may cause major disruption to operations – as well as detrimental effects to the marine environment.

What’s this concoction? The promise and power of metagenomics

At NCIMB, we routinely identify bacteria that have been found in pharmaceutical, food and other industrial production environments. Accurate identification may help the companies involved trace the source of microbial contamination, and confirm whether repeat incidences arise from the same issue. Often these jobs arrive as pure cultures on plates, and we can pick off colonies to isolate the single species present. However, sometimes we’re faced with a more challenging question. For example, we were recently asked to identify the components of …