The Use of Nitrate for the Control of Sulfide Formation in Oklahoma Oil Fields

EPA Grant Number: R827015C008
Subproject: this is subproject number 008 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827015
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)
Center Director: Sublette, Kerry L.
Title: The Use of Nitrate for the Control of Sulfide Formation in Oklahoma Oil Fields
Investigators: Suflita, Joseph , Davidova, Irene A.
Institution: University of Oklahoma
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000 (Extended to June 30, 2001)
RFA: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Waste/Remediation , Targeted Research

Objective:

Hydrogen sulfide is associated with myriad problems in the oil industry including, reservoir souring, contamination of fuel gas and oil, corrosion of metal surfaces, and the plugging of reservoirs and consequent reduced oil recovery due to the precipitation of metal sulfides. A major source of sulfide is the metabolic end product of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB). These organisms reduce sulfate to sulfide at the expense of the oxidation of a wide range of organic substrates and hydrogen. If sulfate is available, significant amounts of sulfide can be generated posing an environmental risk and undesirable economic consequences. We propose to explore the use of nitrate as a preferred electron acceptor, for the control of sulfide formation in oil fields. This approach is technically feasible because denitrifying bacteria (DNB) tend to outcompete SRB for electron donors when both nitrate and sulfate are available to the resident microflora. In addition, some organisms can oxidize sulfide at the expense of nitrate. The goal of this project is to investigate the relevance of this approach to Oklahoma oil industry. Specifically, we will determine, where the maximal rates of sulfate reduction occur in the Oklahoma oil recovery process. This would include an analysis of reservoir fluids, oil-water transport systems, the oil-water separators, produced water handling systems, and oil storage facilities.

Approach:

This will help identify where the major sulfide production problem is located and help focus the nitrate treatment where it will likely have the most benefit. We will also determine if sufficient microbial potential is inherent to the aforementioned oil recovery facilities to make the nitrate treatment a viable option. That is, it may not be reasonable to presume that SRB, DNB, or sulfide oxidizing bacteria are ubiquitously distributed throughout these facilities. If insufficient microbial diversity is present, then steps can be taken to rectify the situation. In case of insufficient microbial diversity, we will explore conditions for the selective enrichment of DNB, a sulfur oxidizing population, or both and how best to maintain these organisms in the desired locations. If necessary, inoculation with desirable bacterial species (e.g. Thiobacillus denitrificans) may also be considered. Armed with this knowledge, we will scale up the treatment process to demonstrate its effectiveness at an oil field in Oklahoma.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 publications for this subprojectView all 120 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 journal articles for this subprojectView all 16 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Geographic Area, Waste, Water, Contaminated Sediments, Remediation, Chemistry, State, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Oil Spills, Hazardous Waste, Bioremediation, Engineering, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, dentrification, microbial degradation, sulfate reducing bacteria, sulfate reducing bacterium, contaminated sediment, sulfide formation, contaminated soil, oil spill, soils, nitrate compounds, soil, treatment, contaminants in soil, bioremediation of soils, Hydrogen sulfide, hazardous waste cleanup, nitrate, Oklahoma (OK), dentrifying bacteria, leachate, bacterial degradation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827015    IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827015C001 Evaluation of Road Base Material Derived from Tank Bottom Sludges
    R827015C002 Passive Sampling Devices (PSDs) for Bioavailability Screening of Soils Containing Petrochemicals
    R827015C003 Demonstration of a Subsurface Drainage System for the Remediation of Brine-Impacted Soil
    R827015C004 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C005 Microflora Involved in Phytoremediation of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons
    R827015C006 Microbial Treatment of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM)
    R827015C007 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C008 The Use of Nitrate for the Control of Sulfide Formation in Oklahoma Oil Fields
    R827015C009 Surfactant-Enhanced Treatment of Oil-Contaminated Soils and Oil-Based Drill Cuttings
    R827015C010 Novel Materials for Facile Separation of Petroleum Products from Aqueous Mixtures Via Magnetic Filtration
    R827015C011 Development of Relevant Ecological Screening Criteria (RESC) for Petroleum Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Exploration and Production Sites
    R827015C012 Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C013 New Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C014 Enhancement of Microbial Sulfate Reduction for the Remediation of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Aquifers - A Laboratory and Field Scale Demonstration
    R827015C015 Locating Oil-Water Interfaces in Process Vessels
    R827015C016 Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C017 Continuation of an Investigation into the Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of Whole Gasoline
    R827015C018 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil
    R827015C019 Biodegradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Salt-Impacted Soil by Native Halophiles or Halotolerants and Strategies for Enhanced Degradation
    R827015C020 Anaerobic Intrinsic Bioremediation of MTBE
    R827015C021 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R827015C022 A Continuation: Humate-Induced Remediation of Petroleum Contaminated Surface Soils
    R827015C023 Data for Design of Vapor Recovery Units for Crude Oil Stock Tank Emissions
    R827015C024 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells
    R827015C025 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R827015C026 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation of MTBE in Goundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C027 Identifying the Signature of Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and "Bug Traps"
    R827015C028 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R827015C030 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R827015C031 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R827015C032 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633 Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC)
    R830633C001 Development of an Environmentally Friendly and Economical Process for Plugging Abandoned Wells (Phase II)
    R830633C002 A Continuation of Remediation of Brine Spills with Hay
    R830633C003 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    R830633C004 Evaluation of Sub-micellar Synthetic Surfactants versus Biosurfactants for Enhanced LNAPL Recovery
    R830633C005 Utilization of the Carbon and Hydrogen Isotopic Composition of Individual Compounds in Refined Hydrocarbon Products To Monitor Their Fate in the Environment
    R830633C006 Evaluation of Commercial, Microbial-Based Products to Treat Paraffin Deposition in Tank Bottoms and Oil Production Equipment
    R830633C007 Identifying the Signature of the Natural Attenuation in the Microbial Ecology of Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater Using Molecular Methods and “Bug Traps”
    R830633C008 Using Plants to Remediate Petroleum-Contaminated Soil: Project Continuation
    R830633C009 Use of Earthworms to Accelerate the Restoration of Oil and Brine Impacted Sites