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MICROBIAL

ENHANCED
OIL RECOVERY

CONTENTS

Introduction
EOR
MEOR
History
Mechanism
Stimulation of oil production
Wellbore cleaning
Selective plugging
Biosurfactants
Microbial products
Advantages
Disadvantages
Environment al issues
Current status
Conclusion
References

TYPES OF ENHANCED OIL


RECOVERY
Primary recovery-12% to 15%oil in well recovered
without the need to introduce the other substances
into the well.
Secondary recovery-The oil well flooded with water
or other substances to drive out additional 15% to
20% more oil from well.

Poor Sweeping Efficiency

Poor Displacement Efficiency

TERTIARY OIL RECOVERY


Known as MICROBIAL ENHANCED OIL
RECOVERY ,use of microorganisms to additional
recover up to 11% more oil from well.

Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery


MEOR is use of microorganisms to retrieve
additional oil from existing well thereby enhancing
oil production from oil reservior.
Selected microorganisms are introduced into oil wells
to produce harmless product such as natural
substances or gases which propel the oil out of well.

HISTORY
1936 Beckman proposed the utilisation of
microbes for enhanced oil recovery.
1947 Zobell released oil from strata rocks
using Desulfovibrio sp.
1954 Kuznetsov inoculated molasses
enriched media and observed the
gas production.
1958 Heinningen proposed the selective
plugging with microbial produced biomass

contd
1977 Yakinov observed the strain of
Bacillus licheniformis JF-2 in
enhancement of oil recovery.
1983 Bubela examined the effects of
reservior env.conditions on
microbial culture.
2004 McInemey examined the 200 strains of
Bacillus sp.in oil enhancement.

MECHANISMS OF MEOR

Stimulation of oil production.


Wellbore cleaning.
Selective plugging
Production of Biosurfactants.
Microbial Products

MICROORGANISMS

Desulfovibrio sp.
Bacillus sp.
Clostridium sp.
Pseudomonas sp.
Arthrobacter sp.
Microbacterium sp.

STIMULATION OF OIL
PRODUCTION
Partial repressurisation of reservior by methane and
carbon dioxide.
Reduction of oil viscosity through dissolution of
organic solvents in oil phase.
Increase of reservior permeability and widening of
fissures and channels through etching of carbaneous
rocks.

WELLBORE CLEANING
Cleaning of wellbore region by Increasing the
average pore size.
Various metabolites Acids - react with various minerals,loosen
the clay and deposits.
Solvents - dissolve the precipitated
organic deposits.
Biogas push oil from dead spaces and
dislodge debris.

SELECTIVE PLUGGING
Selective plugging of highly permeable zones by
injecting slime forming microorganisms,increases the
sweeping efficiency and oil recovery.

BIOSURFACTANTS
Biosurfactants are microbially derived surface active
agents that can lower the surface tension of oil and
act as slippery detergents helping the oil move more
freely away from rocks and more easily out of well.

Arthrobacter sp.
Bacillus licheniformis
Bacillus subtilis
Candida lipolytica
Corneybacterium lepus
Nocardia sp.
Pseudomonas sp.
Rhodococcus sp.H13-A
Torulopsis bombicola
Xanthomonas compestris

Trehalose,sucrose,
lipids,fructose
Lipopeptides
Surfactin
Sophorose lipid
Fatty acids
Neutral lipid
Glycolipid
Glycolipid
Sophorose lipid
Xanthan

ADVANTAGES
Biodegradibility
Low toxicity
Environment friendliness.

MICROBIAL PRODUCTS INCREASING


OIL RECOVERY
Biomass

Selective plugging.
Modification of solid
surface.
Reduction of oil viscosity.
Alternation in flow
properties.

BIOGAS
Carbon dioxide(80%)

Hydrogen(20%)

Methane

Increase the
pressure

High energy
potential in oil field

Increase oil
volume,
decrease oil
viscosity

Give better oil


mobilisation

Change pressure
potential in
fissures,pores

Increase oil
production rate

ORGANIC ACIDS
Acetic acid,
propanoic acid,
valerianic acid

Decrease pH up to
4.8

Dissolve the
carbonate rock

Increase
permeability of
rocks

Dissolve carbonate
partially building up
new flow channels

Methane,
ethanol,
propanol,
butanol

Biolipid

Decreases
Forces the imbibition of
interfacial tension injected,fermented
molasses media into pore
canals to give more oil
from rock

Alter the rock

Increase wettability
break oil/water barriers
creating emulsion leading
to improved flow rate

ADVANTAGES OF MEOR

Cheap
Environmentally acceptable alternative.
Ability to grow on low cost nutrients.
Small size help them to penetrate deep into oil wells
enhancing oil recovery.
Do not consume large amount of energy.

DISADVANTAGES OF MEOR
Need a standardized framework for evaluating
microbial activity.
Exogenous microbes require facilities for cultivation.
Oxygen deployed in aerobic MEOR act as corrosive
agent on non resistant equipments and pipelines.
Plugging of reservoirs due to aggregation of cell mass
or precipitation of metabolites.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
(A) Subsurface water
Migration of organism or metabolites into groundwater.

(B) Waste water


Spent fluids due to additional drilling.
Equipment washing.
Media and Chemicals used for pH adjustment.
(C)

Atmospheric emission
Hydrogen sulphide production.

(D) Solid wastes


Bacteria in filter solids.

CURRENT STATUS
TITAN INC.-Changing the skin surface of microbes
to induce a unique oleophilic activity which dislodges
and breakdown oil droplets and create natural
emulsion.
New project at Daquing field in CHINA to change
the structure of polymers to strengthen their ability to
break down the long carbon chains of high density
crude oil.

Contd.
TERI,Delhi and ONGC,Gujarat Development of
Thermophilic paraffin degrading strain consortium S
2 for prevention of paraffin deposition inside the oil
well tubing.

BIOTECHNOLOGY AND MEOR


MEOR is direct application of Biotechnology.Use of
Genetic engineering and Recombinant DNA
technology to develop the strains of bacteria with oil
recovery traits and susceptibility to adverse
conditions.
Recombinant strain of Bacillus mojavensis JF-2,RrB2 having high efficiency.

CONCLUSION
MEOR reduces or eliminates the need to use the
harsh chemicals during oil drilling .MEOR will
become increasingly economically feasible as genetic
engineering develops.
Methods for developing and growing MEOR bacteria
are improving, lowering the production cost making it
more attractive alternative to traditional chemical
methods.

REFERENCES
Belyaev S.S,Borzenkov I.A,Ibatullin T.N, May
17,2004 Use of microorganisms in Biotechnology for
enhancement of oil recovery,Microbiology,vol
73(5):pg 590-598
Jang L.K, Yen T.F. 1990 ,Mechanism of MEOR In
MEOR Principle and practice :pg 158-163
Microbial enhanced oil recovery,retrieved May
5,2002 from Environmental Biotechnologies
inc.www.e-b-t.com/meor.htm
www.abc.edu/chyn/lect/lect-11 htm
http//findarticals.com/p/articals/mi_m3159
http.//wikipedia.org/wiki/MEOR