Follow The Data

Oilfield Microbial Testing Technology

Microbes are living breathing components of our oilfield waters. They behave different from other water contaminants and can survive even in microscopic water droplets. It is important, we test for their presence when evaluating oilfield waters. Understanding the microbes present, quantities and application impact, provides the data to drive effective decisions.
Microbial ProgramLifeCheck MediaLifeCheck ATP Test KitsLifeCheck DNA qPCRLifeCheck DNA 16S Sequencing
Baseline & KPI
Routine Monitoring
Failure Analysis
Problem Solving
Completions Work, Single Data Point Evaluation
Production Systems, Trending Multiple Data Points

Assess Microbial Levels

The first step in mitigating microbial growth is to assess the level of microbes prior to treatment. Information regarding overall population is important to determine the best course of action. Generate specific treatment KPI’s for microbial control before job commencement such as:

  • determining target dosages
  • onsite-calibration

Our Technical Team offer field testing products and technical services, on-site or in the lab, providing reliable, informative results to support your microbial control program.

OSP Technical Centre

The OSP Technical Centre is a full-service lab offering complete microbial testing including:

Outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and complete safety controls, OSP is armed to accept your liquid (source, flowback, produced) and solid (pipe segments, coiled tubing, pig returns) samples.

Testing TechnologyProductService
DNA 16S Sequencing
ATP Test Kits
Serial Dilution Media
Kill Studies
Microbial Consulting

Did you know various microbes are present within source waters?

During completions activities, problematic microbes can be introduced to the well through frac fluids. These problematic microbes may also be native to the reservoir. Introduced or inherent, problematic microbes can lead to well souring, microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) and biofouling (plugging).

You can't mitigate what you can't measure. The first step is to identify the microbial threats. Understand and measure the microbial communities present. Use the data to drive microbial control programs. And avoid problematic outcomes when the well is brought onto production.

Continue with LifeCheck DNA 16S Sequencing

Are you looking for answers to these Frequently Asked Questions?

What is a Kill Study?
Kill studies attempt to simulate various treating conditions in order to determine the best fit biocide for a given fluid and application. Biocide selection studies, also known as kill studies, are conducted benchtop or in a lab to determine the right microbial control product. Application environments, process components and fluid systems are mirrored to provide representative data and an understanding of the products behaviour in a specific application.
Why do I need to complete microbial testing to establish a microbial control program?
A common question. Time to back it up and figure out why you are testing in the first place. If you are checking a box, we can’t help you. Your microbial testing efforts need to satisfy an objective. Is my biocide program working? Have I seen growth in my system that needs to be investigated? Why am I having treatment issues? What is my baseline microbial load in order to establish KPI’s? These are a few reasons to set up a testing program. Programs require consistency in testing frequency, location and method. They often necessitate trending so changes can be evaluated. Additionally, don’t forget that when one test method doesn’t satisfy your objectives, there are more options. Use DNA technologies for in depth insights and problem solving. And if you need help, let OSP know.

Since 2014, Omega Treating Chemicals has been engaging OSP and their team for science related challenges, technical lab support, microbial testing services, scale support and sales support. The team at OSP feels like an extension of our team, always willing and able to respond, offering holistic client support from lab to field to sales. With a fantastic collaborative partnership over the years, when we are looking to problem solve, we never hesitate to call OSP.

Leah Duran, Technical Director, Omega Treating Chemical, Inc

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you so much for our partnership. I cannot ask for a better partnership than the one I have with OSP. The dedication, time and effort to help us get up and going with ATP testing is something that has not gone unrecognized. It is truly amazing to see that wonderful customer service still lives in our industry. This type of partnership is one we will continue to have and grow together.

Courtney, Kel-Tech

During a follow up conversation with a Coiled Tubing client, they let us know they are getting significantly longer life out of their coil. On average they are experiencing 1.1 million running feet out of a coil string, compared to the industry average of approximately 600,000 running feet. They feel it all comes back to their commitment to monitoring and treatment program recommendations made by OSP, inclusive of LifeCheck ATP testing and biocide treatment of the water.


At first, I was a bit skeptical ordering ATP equipment and supplies from North America, concerned with long shipping times to Norway and overall service support. OSP mitigated these concerns, with superior customer service, surprising response times and expedited shipping. They would promptly let me know my questions or request was received, providing high quality service and expertise. I am repeatedly surprised by the extra effort OSP provides on all levels.

Tommy Hovd, Project Engineer, Clariant Oil Services Scandinavia

Looking for more information on microbial identification and evaluation?

Ask an OSP Expert