Microbial enhanced heavy oil recovery by the aid of inhabitant spore-forming bacteria: An insight review

Biji Shibulal, Saif N. Al-Bahry*, Yahya M. Al-Wahaibi, Abdulkader E. Elshafie, Ali S. Al-Bemani, Sanket J. Joshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Crude oil is the major source of energy worldwide being exploited as a source of economy, including Oman. As the price of crude oil increases and crude oil reserves collapse, exploitation of oil resources in mature reservoirs is essential for meeting future energy demands. As conventional recovery methods currently used have become less efficient for the needs, there is a continuous demand of developing a new technology which helps in the upgradation of heavy crude oil. Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is an important tertiary oil recovery method which is cost-effective and eco-friendly technology to drive the residual oil trapped in the reservoirs. The potential of microorganisms to degrade heavy crude oil to reduce viscosity is considered to be very effective in MEOR. Earlier studies of MEOR (1950s) were based on three broad areas: injection, dispersion, and propagation of microorganisms in petroleum reservoirs; selective degradation of oil components to improve flow characteristics; and production of metabolites by microorganisms and their effects. Since thermophilic spore-forming bacteria can thrive in very extreme conditions in oil reservoirs, they are the most suitable organisms for the purpose. This paper contains the review of work done with thermophilic spore-forming bacteria by different researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number309159
JournalThe Scientific World Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial enhanced heavy oil recovery by the aid of inhabitant spore-forming bacteria: An insight review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this