2K7 Biocide for Coiled Tubing Applications

In formations across North America, conditions exist that promote the growth of bacteria in coiled tubing strings potentially leading to microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC). This can result in costly and dangerous premature coiled tubing string failures. The bacteria that cause MIC are not only viable at the surface, but can pose a risk to asset integrity and flow assurance by causing further damage such as souring of the formation, plugging of equipment and other types of downhole failure. To mitigate MIC, coiled tubing service companies are turning to biocides for microbial control. But not all biocides are equally effective in this specialized application. OSP 2K7 biocide products are formulated to provide the best combination of performance and chemical compatibility in a single product.

2K7 is effective in:

  • High salt and high hardness
  • High suspended solids
  • Anionic and cationic
  • Varying viscosities
  • Any water/oil ratio

2K7 will not:

  • Crosslink and polymerize friction reducers
  • Polymerize or destabilize lubricants and inhibitors
  • Sequester iron or generate insoluble sulfides
  • Alter fluid viscosities or rheology profiles
  • Inhibit gel sweep hydration and viscosity

2K7 Biocode Coiled Tubing Treatment Program

The first step in determining the required 2K7 biocide coiled tubing fluid treatment plan is to measure total bacteria levels using the OSP LifeCheck ATP Test Kit, which provides results in less than 10 minutes. Based on these results, OSP can recommend a course of action including initial, maintenance and pre-transport/storage treatments that will provide long-term mitigation of coiled tubing fluid bacterial loads. The initial treatment is implemented using 2K7 Water Soluble Paks (WSP) in the source water tanks, which provides adequate time for the biocide to take effect before the coiled tubing fluid is pumped downhole. Maintenance treatments are either performed in the source water/flowback tank, and/or saddle tanks on the coiled tubing unit if available. 2K7 Bugsticks are also used for treatment of the coiled tubing unit prior to transport or storage to provide long-term bacterial control. 2K7 Solution, a liquid format of the biocide, can be added directly to a closed loop system via an injection manifold downstream from the wellhead or to the saddle tanks on the pump truck.

Approximate 2K7 Biocide Coiled Tubing Treatment Equivalent

2K7 BiocideVolume of FluidTreatment Level (active biocide)
1 Bugstick (post job/storage)1 m3/6.3 bbl100 ppm
5 Bugsticks (post job/storage)5 m3/31.5 bbl100 ppm
1 WSP (1 kg/2.2 lb)10 m3/63 bbl100 ppm
4 WSPs (4 kg/ 8.8 lb)40 m3/250 bbl100 ppm
1 box WSP (25 kg/55 lb)250 m3/1,575 bbl100 ppm
1 Tote Solution (1,115 kg/2,458 lb)1,115 m3/7,015 bbl100 ppm

Client Spotlight: Increasing Coiled Tubing Running Feet

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.


In conjunction with Coiled Tubing service companies in the U.S. and Canada, 2K7 biocide has been shown to significantly reduce microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) in coiled tubing operations and associated string failures. Two case studies using 2K7 biocide in coiled tubing bridge plug mill-out operations are summarized below. In both cases, since the 2K7 treatment program was implemented, no additional coiled tubing string failures associated with MIC were recorded.


  • Four boxes (25 x 1 kg paks per box) of 2K7 WSP were added to the open water tank as an initial shock treatment, which reduced ATP levels from an average of ~10,000 pg/ml ATP (~107 ME/ml) to less than 150 pg/ml ATP.
  • A second treatment of 1 box of 2K7 WSP was performed prior to the same water being reused for a second well operation as the bacterial load had rebounded to ~1,540 pg/ml ATP during transport.
  • Maintenance treatments were required due to the continued addition of water to reduce solids and the coiled tubing unit was treated with 2K7 Bugsticks before storage to provide extended control.


  • Field studies conducted on three separate well pads showed that 2K7 biocide effectively reduced bacterial levels in surface water from 106 to 104with agitation of the fluid reducing the reaction time.
  • Bacteria levels rebounded at surface due to the infusion of flowback water that contained additives from stimulation operations which, along with dissolved formation nutrients and increased temperatures, provided an ideal environment for bacterial regrowth.
  • The ability to identify the source of bacterial population rebound in real-time using the OSP LifeCheck ATP Test Kit enabled implementation of lower, maintenance treatments of the surface water with 2K7 biocide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can microbes exist within a coiled tubing string after nitrogen purges, in an oxygen free environment?

In general there are two ‘buckets’ of microbes: aerobic (relating to, involving, or requiring free oxygen) and anaerobic (relating to, involving, or requiring an absence of free oxygen). In coiled tubing we know that nitrogen purges generally fall into 2 categories:

  • In the cold regions of the world, coiled tubing nitrogen purge focuses primarily on avoiding freeze plugs or strings splitting due to residual water
  • For transport, coiled tubing nitrogen purge is used to get as much water out to make weight requirements (or not break anything on the rig!).

There is always residual fluid to some degree! At the end of the day, the most important aspect, from a microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) point of view, is to understand the water quality being circulated through strings. It is important to never assumed the water is clean from a microbial standpoint (because it’s not!). Sound nitrogen purging practices should include a proper biocide treatment and a corrosion inhibitor to protect these assets.

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