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Colloids Interfaces 2018, 2(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids2010001

Microbial-Enhanced Heavy Oil Recovery under Laboratory Conditions by Bacillus firmus BG4 and Bacillus halodurans BG5 Isolated from Heavy Oil Fields

1
Department of Biology, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat 123, Oman
2
Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat 123, Oman
3
Central Analytical and Applied Research Unit, College of Science, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat 123, Oman
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 27 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 7 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloids and Interfaces in Oil Recovery)
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Abstract

Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) is one of the tertiary recovery methods. The high viscosity and low flow characteristics of heavy oil makes it difficult for the extraction from oil reservoirs. Many spore-forming bacteria were isolated from Oman oil fields, which can biotransform heavy crude oil by changing its viscosity by converting heavier components into lighter ones. Two of the isolates, Bacillus firmus BG4 and Bacillus halodurans BG5, which showed maximum growth in higher concentrations of heavy crude oil were selected for the study. Gas chromatography analysis of the heavy crude oil treated with the isolates for nine days showed 81.4% biotransformation for B. firmus and 81.9% for B. halodurans. In both cases, it was found that the aromatic components in the heavy crude oil were utilized by the isolates, converting them to aliphatic species. Core flooding experiments conducted at 50 °C, mimicking reservoir conditions to prove the efficiency of the isolates in MEOR, resulted in 10.4% and 7.7% for B. firmus and B. halodurans, respectively, after the nine-day shut-in period. These investigations demonstrated the potential of B. firmus BG4 and B. halodurans BG5 as an environmentally attractive approach for heavy oil recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: spore forming bacteria; Bacillus firmus; Bacillus halodurans; Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery; biotransformation; heavy oil recovery spore forming bacteria; Bacillus firmus; Bacillus halodurans; Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery; biotransformation; heavy oil recovery
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Shibulal, B.; Al-Bahry, S.N.; Al-Wahaibi, Y.M.; Elshafie, A.E.; Al-Bemani, A.S.; Joshi, S.J. Microbial-Enhanced Heavy Oil Recovery under Laboratory Conditions by Bacillus firmus BG4 and Bacillus halodurans BG5 Isolated from Heavy Oil Fields. Colloids Interfaces 2018, 2, 1.

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