Molecular Biological Analysis of Microorganisms in Petroleum Reservoirs

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jaehong Ko1, Han Am Son1, Kyung Chul Im1, Kyung Hwa Back2 and Hyun Tae Kim1, (1)KIGAM Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon, South Korea, (2)Chung-ang University, Seoul, South Korea
Microorganisms in petroleum reservoirs were analyzed to examine the potential to apply for microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). Genomic DNA (16S rDNA) were extracted from two heavy oil samples from Canadian oil sand and six light oil samples from the Salin fore-arc basin in Myanmar, and amplified using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. The microbes were identified by cloning the PCR products and pyrosequencing. Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria were common in both Canadian and Myanmar samples. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus belonging to the Firmicutes phylum are abundant in oil sands, while Propionibacteria belonging to the Actinobacteria phylum and Coprothermobacter, Streptococcus, and Clostridia belonging to the Frimicutes phylum are contained in Myanmar samples. Streptococcus is known to use crude oil as nutrient, and produce organic acid, bio-gas and polysaccharide that could reduce oil viscosity, improve permeability by dissolving carbonate cement from pores throat, and reduce interfacial tension between oil and rock/water surface. Clostridia produce acids and gases by methanogenesis that could improve oil recovery.