Effects of indigenous microbial consortia for enhanced oil recovery in a fragmented calcite rocks system

I. Gaytán, M. A. Mejía, R. Hernández-Gama, L. G. Torres, C. A. Escalante, Ana Muñoz-Colunga

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13 Scopus citations


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Two indigenous bacterial consortia, IMP-100 and IMP-200, proved to have a functional effect on heavy crude oil recovery, indicating a potential implementation in Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR). Growth kinetics of the indigenous bacterial population was performed under anaerobic conditions at 70°C and 33gL-1 of salinity. It was found that both extremophile consortia were able to grow under the latter conditions. Moreover, they synthesized metabolites that altered the surface properties of the supernatants derived from cell cultures, a useful property in oil recovery processes. Ex situ fermentations in the presence of crude oil-impregnated calcite rocks demonstrated that both bacterial consortia enhance crude oil recovery by 8.5% and 13%. In order to identify possible phenomena responsible for incremental oil recovery, emulsification index (E24), surface tension, cell adhesion to hydrocarbons, and crude oil viscosity were characterized. The results demonstrate that IMP-(100, 200) consortia were able to recover heavy crude oil from calcite rocks, possibly due to a decrease in crude oil viscosity, induced by the presence of metabolites and/or the interaction between bacteria and oil hydrocarbons.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages57
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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