Oilfield Molecular Analysis

Engaging oilfield molecular analysis offers an insight into the bacteria thriving in oil and gas micro environments and represents good awareness of risks.

Monitoring biological contamination through oilfield molecular analysis and related procedures is essential for the integrity of oil and gas installations and systems.

The majority of oil and gas production stages can be impacted by microbial contamination, from the potable water supplies relied upon on offshore platforms to reservoir souring. 

Microorganisms are an essential part of exploration and production, but also represent a persistent threat. As extraction methods become more sophisticated and operational challenges increase, microbiological risks evolve alongside them.

From our microbiology centres of excellence, we can offer your organisation reliable and advanced oilfield molecular analysis.

Traditionally, the oil and gas industry uses the cost-effective and robust most probable number (MPN) method for microbial analysis.

However, this and other culture-dependent methods sometimes detect as few as 1% of microorganisms. In contrast, the molecular techniques we utilise and develop are capable of providing more thorough results with faster turnaround times.

For such a niche area of oilfield microbiology, we are your ideal Total Quality Assurance partner. Our global reach ensures that you can access vital services whenever and wherever you need them the most.

Providing oilfield molecular analysis and a comprehensive range of related services for over three decades, we can offer world-class knowledge supported by innovative in-house microbiology research and development.


FISH directly quantifies specific types of bacteria and Archaea in microbial populations, providing an analytical technique for detailed study of microbial populations in both natural and engineered environments.

Advantages include rapid results, 99% count accuracy, the detection of specific groups of sulfate-reducing bacteria and the capability to preserve samples on-site. No prior knowledge of a systems' environmental conditions is needed to conduct FISH analysis.

 This is a DNA-based approach to quantify specific microorganisms that can specifically increase a target (gene) from an undetectable amount of starting material. During qPCR, gene copies are made during thermocycling and a fluorescent marker accumulates, which can be used to quantify the starting number of the target gene. 

 Advantages include targeting specific genes, higher sensitivity and yielding faster results than MPN counts. Examples of targets are SRB, nitrate reducing bacteria (NRB), Sulphate reducing Archaea (SRA) and others. 

The output of the DGGE method is a set of bands on an electrophoresis gel, giving a fingerprint or profile of a microbial population.  

Each band represents a different microbial population and some idea of the dominance of that population can be taken from the intensity of the band. These fingerprints can be used to characterise microbial diversity in a particular environment or sample.  

This approach can potentially reveal the source of contamination in a network of pipelines.  

Of the various NGS platforms, we favour 454 pyrosequencing. This can read up to 20 million bases per run and give a deep insight into microbial communities in certain samples.

Its primary advantage is enabling the identification of microorganisms present in samples down to the genus level for a more detailed assessment of the microbial communities. 

NGS can also describe a complete microbial community in a sample, allow for the comparison of changes in communities and give an indication of predominant microbes.

Need help or have a question? +1 713 479 8400

Need help or have a question?

+1 713 479 8400
+603 6156 2200
+971 4 3178743
+218 21 723 6663
+44 (0)1224 708 500