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OMMICA's new approach to THPS pipeline testing

Updated: May 1

Traditionally, the assessment of microbial growth and the effectiveness of biocide programs in pipelines has relied on the use of microbial detection, for example using "bug bottles," leading to prolonged waiting times for results. Advances in microbial detection methods, such as ATP and qPCR, have accelerated result turnaround.

However, the critical aspect of monitoring the biocide itself and its accurate distribution within pipelines has seen limited progress. This lack of oversight poses challenges, as excessive biocide use can elevate corrosion risks and associated chemical expenses, while insufficient dosages may lead to microbial-induced corrosion (MIC), thereby diminishing the pipeline's lifespan.


A North Sea operator faced a significant challenge as they lacked an accurate, portable means of measuring residual Tetrakis(hydroxymethyl)phosphonium sulphate (THPS) in chemically treated pipelines. This uncertainty raised concerns about the comprehensive treatment of the entire pipeline, with potential risks of both underdosing and overdosing, resulting in substantial financial implications and pipeline damage.


The examination of current onsite/portable THPS test kits revealed a reliance on the iodometric drop test method, which many operators perceived as inaccurate, and providing only qualitative (yes/no/maybe) results. In contrast, the OMMICA THPS test represents a breakthrough, employing proven and accurate colorimetric chemistry, ensuring precise results within just one hour.


Choosing the OMMICA THPS test, the client implemented the solution during a pipeline biocide program to assess THPS residuals at the receiving end. The protocol involved injecting THPS at 100 parts per million (ppm) at the pipeline inlet, followed by sample collection at the receiving end.

Results demonstrated that between 10 and 20 ppm of THPS reached the designated sample point, indicating sufficient residuals. This finding was substantiated by qPCR testing, revealing a notable reduction in microbial presence. The OMMICA THPS test not only offered rapid and accurate results but also provided valuable insights into the efficacy of the biocide program.

The introduction of the OMMICA THPS test marks a significant advancement in microbial control in pipelines. With the ability to provide accurate results promptly, operators can now make informed decisions regarding biocide dosages, mitigating the risks of corrosion and microbial-induced damage. This innovative solution holds promise for the industry, offering a more reliable and efficient approach to ensure the integrity and longevity of pipelines.


Sonali Dhiwar

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