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Well Characterization Test

Last updated: May 18, 2017

What Does Well Characterization Test Mean?

A well characterization test is a type of oil well examination method that is used to determine the extent of bacterial contamination in an oil well. The test can determine the types and quantity of microbes in a well. Performing well characterization tests consistently is necessary to prevent corrosion caused by the types of bacteria found in oil wells.


Corrosionpedia Explains Well Characterization Test

A well characterization test is a useful tool to quantify the bacterial levels in an oil well. This is important because bacteria can cause major issues. There are some bacteria, such as sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) that increase the likelihood of corrosion in oilfield equipment and pipelines through their production of hydrogen sulfide gas, which can cause steel and other metals to corrode.

Another type of bacteria are acid-producing bacteria. These bacteria can also cause corrosion by creating an acidic environment that corrodes steel and other metals.

Well characterization tests are primarily used to detect these two types of bacteria. Some well characterization tests can also identify other types of bacteria that may be of interest to the party conducting the test.


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