Petroleum Microbiology


This afternoon, I borrowed a book Petroleum Microbiology from the library. This book was edited by two Frenchmen, Bernard Ollivier, and Michel Magot. Dr. Michael J. McInerney made the forward to this book, who is well known in the area of microbial enhanced oil recovery. There are four sections in the book, Microbiology of oil fields, Pernicious effects of bacterial activity, biotechnology and oil production, and bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated environments. Within Section III, Dr. Michael J. McInerney and his colleagues comprehensively reviewed the history of MEOR. From 2001 to 2004, I compiled a book on the advancement of MEOR in China (I am not sure whether it has been published or not, since I have turned out the manuscript in early 2005). At that time, not so many reference books available for me. Fortunately the topic was narrowed to China, not all over the world, on which I have spent a lot of time and energy. After I left China in the fall of 2004, the technology made rapid progress. More and more projects have been implemented there. Also, the publications about the topic came into the market and people could fetch them much easily. Several days ago, I encountered a book called Petroleum Microbiology Oil Production Technology. I remember the first author of this book has ever published a small blue textbook about MEOR more than 10 years ago. I tried to search the old book online, but it seems that it was not available. Let us continue talking about Petroleum Microbiology. I believe Dr. Michael J. McInerney’s more than 20 pages’ work can give you a very impressive imagine on MEOR. Else, you can read Dr. Lazar’s review Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery published on Petroleum Science and Technology. Another alternative review is written by Dr. Lewis R. Brown from Mississippi State University, which was published on Current Opinion on Microbiology as Microbial Enhanced Oil Recoery (MEOR). Also there are several reviews on onepetro.org, the online library of Society of Petroleum Engineers. Personally I prefer to the publications on books or journals.

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7 Responses to Petroleum Microbiology

  1. Kyle Barnoff says:

    Zinan Li,

    Nice topic! I am currently writing a non-technical paper about MEOR for a university paper competition. I think the technology deserves some attention since the boom of biotechnology. I am considering undergraduate research in MEOR, specifically with plugging and polysaccharide production. My interests are in Reservoir Engineering.

    I thought I would share two sources I enjoy on the topic. The first is more general and the latter is more technical (sorry for the improper citations):

    Biotechnology in petroleum recovery: The microbial EOR, Ramkrishna Se – Progress in Energy and Combustion Science 34 (2008) 714– 724

    Recent Advances in Petroleum Microbiology, Jonathan D. Van Hamme – MICROBIOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REVIEWS, Dec. 2003, p. 503–549 Vol. 67, No. 4
    DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.67.4.503–549.2003

  2. Mudrake2 says:

    In the early 90’s I was chief geologist for a company founded by a former Phillips Petroleum company microbiologist. He did the pioneering work on single cell protein there in the 80’s. We used natural occurring microbes that metabolized hydrocarbons as an exploration tool. In addition we were engaged in MEOR research in some of the old oil fields in North East Oklahoma in conjunction with the DOE office based in Bartlesville. There might be some publications published by the DOE on this early work. The company, Geo-Microbial Technologies is still in business, and has a labratory in Ochelata, Oklahoma.

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