NETL Oil & Natural Gas Technologies
Reference Shelf - MEOR Presentation
Microbial enhanced oil recovery technologies:
A review of the past, present, and future
Authors: Saikrishna Maudgalya, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; Roy M. Knapp and Michael J. McInerney, University of Oklahoma
Venue: SPE Production and Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, OK, Mar. 31–Apr. 3, 2007 (http://www.spe-pos.org/ [external site]).
Abstract: One form of tertiary oil recovery that does not require exceptional investments is microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). With abundant and easily producible oil supplies dwindling, MEOR could be an uncomplicated enhancement to conventional waterflooding. Unfortunately, it has not gained credibility in the oil industry due to technical and economic reasons. To better understand this problem, a survey was conducted of reported MEOR field trials worldwide. The survey shows some widely prevalent practices in most of the trials. Few tests could explain the mechanics of oil recovery or presented any post-treatment analysis and explanation of how results were calculated. And some showed improvements that appeared disproportionate to the treatment size. Based on trends observed in the survey results, recommendations are made to overcome barriers to widespread use of MEOR and gain credibility with more users. One recommendation is to standardize test procedures and reporting of results and analysis. This would be the best way to avoid contradictory interpretations of MEOR results. The initial few trials will be expensive if all the pre-treatment and post-treatment recommendations are followed. But the benefits of conducting a few systematic and well-designed tests to fully evaluate the potential of MEOR and bring it credibility outweigh the expense.
Related NETL Project: The goal of the related NETL project entitled “Development of an In Situ Biosurfactant Production Technology for Enhanced Oil Recovery” (DE-FC26-04NT15522) is to move biosurfactant-effected oil recovery from laboratory investigations to field applications.
NETL Project Contacts:
NETL – Virginia Weyland (firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-699-2041)
U. of Oklahoma – Michael J. McInerney (email@example.com or 405-325-6050)