The fiberglass pipes were used for transportation of water in order to maintain the pressure in the oil field of Zarzaïtine (Region of In Amenas located in the south of Algeria). During the maintenance work in summer, a season well known for its extensive heat, the deposits contained in the pipe, and after its contact with the atmosphere, have caused a smoke and it was followed by a fire that ignited a portion of the pipe. To give an answer to the causes of this phenomenon, we have first incriminated the role of specific bacterial species and therefore we have made a microbiological analysis of the deposits collected from the site of the incident. The obtained results revealed the presence of a heterogeneous microbial population with a high concentration level of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), methanogenic bacteria (MB), yeasts and fungi. The interaction between the different species of bacteria and the organic matter contained in the deposits has generated the formation of methane which under the influence of the great heat burnt and the fire caused the ignition of the fiberglass line.
International Letters of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy (Volume 39)
M. Bounoughaz and N. Touabi, "The Self Ignition of Fiberglass Lines", International Letters of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, Vol. 39, pp. 1-9, 2014