Effect of long term application of tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium sulfate (THPS) in a light oil-producing oilfield

Samples of (I) produced waters, (II) central processing facility (CPF) waters and (III) pipeline solids were collected from a light oil-producing field. The biocide, tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium sulfate (THPS) was routinely used in the CPF. Samples monitoring indicated that THPS was effective in microbial control but also increased concentrations of sulfate and phosphate in transitioning from Type I to Type II waters. Type II waters had high concentrations (up to 60 mM) of acetate but low most probable numbers (MPNs) of acid-producing and sulfate-reducing bacteria, indicating the presence of active biocide, as high MPNs were found in Type I waters. Solids had high phosphate and high MPNs, indicating that THPS was inactive. Solids had oil and an anaerobic community dominated by Acetobacterium, which may contribute to conversion of oil to acetate. The presence of THPS prevented the use of this acetate in Type II waters, where it accumulated to unusually high concentrations.