Ohio State Research Finds Microbes in Utica Well May be Corrosive

Last year MDN brought you the story of researchers who found microbes (bacteria) living nearly two miles down in Utica Shale wells. They dubbed one of the never-before-seen bacterial “lifeforms” in the well Frackibacter. We immediately labeled it a different name: Frackenstein (see Frackenstein! Researchers Find New Life Form in Fracked Utica Wells). One of the Ohio State researchers who helped discover Frackenstein, Mike Wilkins, has continued his work. In a newly published study, titled “Sulfide Generation by Dominant Halanaerobium Microorganisms in Hydraulically Fractured Shales” (full copy below), Wilkins says a different bacteria he studied, that appeared in multiple Utica wells (called Halanaerobium) may be a cause for concern. In this new study, Halanaerobium was found to convert thiosulfates found in the environment to sulfide–which can be toxic to workers and corrosive to pipes and cement in the ground. Bear in mind this latest study appears to be pretty theoretical–and based on observations at a single Utica well. However, the research seems legit to us, and was not funded by anti-drilling organizations…

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