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Coreflood assay using extremophile microorganisms for recovery of heavy oil in Mexican oil fields

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
20918 43197 2012 6 PDF Available
Title
Coreflood assay using extremophile microorganisms for recovery of heavy oil in Mexican oil fields
Abstract

A considerable portion of oil reserves in Mexico corresponds to heavy oils. This feature makes it more difficult to recover the remaining oil in the reservoir after extraction with conventional techniques. Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) has been considered as a promising technique to further increase oil recovery, but its application has been developed mainly with light oils; therefore, more research is required for heavy oil. In this study, the recovery of Mexican heavy oil (11.1°API and viscosity 32,906 mPa s) in a coreflood experiment was evaluated using the extremophile mixed culture A7, which was isolated from a Mexican oil field. Culture A7 includes fermentative, thermophilic, and anaerobic microorganisms. The experiments included waterflooding and MEOR stages, and were carried out under reservoir conditions (70°C and 9.65 MPa). MEOR consisted of injections of nutrients and microorganisms followed by confinement periods. In the MEOR stages, the mixed culture A7 produced surface-active agents (surface tension reduction 27 mN m−1), solvents (ethanol, 1738 mg L−1), acids (693 mg L−1), and gases, and also degraded heavy hydrocarbon fractions in an extreme environment. The interactions of these metabolites with the oil, as well as the bioconversion of heavy oil fractions to lighter fractions (increased alkanes in the C8–C30 range), were the mechanisms responsible for the mobility and recovery of heavy oil from the porous media. Oil recovery by MEOR was 19.48% of the residual oil in the core after waterflooding. These results show that MEOR is a potential alternative to heavy oil recovery in Mexican oil fields.

► Extremophile microorganisms from Mexican oil reservoirs for MEOR. ► Coreflood assays at reservoir conditions for recovery of heavy oil. ► Metabolites production under extreme environment. ► Evaluation of the mechanisms involved in MEOR process for heavy oils. ► Bioconversion of heavy hydrocarbon fractions to lighter fractions in MEOR process.

Keywords
Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR); Heavy oil; Extremophile; Thermoanaerobacter; Biodegradation; Coreflood
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Coreflood assay using extremophile microorganisms for recovery of heavy oil in Mexican oil fields
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering - Volume 114, Issue 4, October 2012, Pages 440–445
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us