Indigenous bacterial consortia from oil wells and their role in In-Situ microbial enhanced oil recovery

Ratiba A. Al-Maaini, Saif N. Al-Bahry*, Abdulkader E. Elshafie, Yahya M. Al-Wahaibi, Ali S. Al-Bimani, Sanket J. Joshi, Wafa J. Al-Alawi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Worldwide decline in oil production rates and ever increasing demand for petroleum is gaining worldwide attention of the oil producing companies. Different enhanced oil recovery techniques like chemical and thermal recovery processes are employed worldwide to solve the problem. Those techniques currently in use are expensive and have certain environmental drawbacks. Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is one of the most economical and efficient methods for extending the life of production wells in a declining reservoir. MEOR can be applied to the oil fields as either in-situ or ex-situ process, of which in-situ MEOR processes are comparatively economical. For in-situ applications, one has to identify the indigenous microbial populations of that oil field. After identifying the microbes, specifically designed nutrients can be injected to the oilwells to improve oil recovery. Those nutrients will lead to growth of indigenous microbes, thus producing different bioproducts (like biosurfactants) and thus enhancing oil recovery. We have isolated and identified 58 species belonging to 33 different bacterial genera from Wafra oil wells and Suwaihat production water in Oman. All of the identified microbial genera were first records in Oman and most of them were found to be anaerobic, thermophilic and halophilic, which might be good candidates for MEOR. Caminicella sporogenes is the second world record and first world record from an oil field. Those bacterial consortia were studied at laboratory scale for different bioproduct production and found to be quite promising for future applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiotechnology and Conservation of Species from Arid Regions
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781631178726
ISBN (Print)9781631178696
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Bacterial consortia
  • Caminicella sporogenes
  • In-situ microbial enhanced oil recovery
  • Omani oil fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Indigenous bacterial consortia from oil wells and their role in In-Situ microbial enhanced oil recovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this