Title: Enhanced microbial degradation of waxy crude oil: a review on current status and future perspective

Authors: N. Sakthipriya; Mukesh Doble; Jitendra S. Sangwai

Addresses: Department of Ocean Engineering, Petroleum Engineering Program, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai – 600 036 11, India ' Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai – 600 036 16, India ' Department of Ocean Engineering, Petroleum Engineering Program, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai – 600 036, India

Abstract: Most of the crude oil reservoirs in the world are getting matured leading to the increased production and deposition of long chain paraffins (wax) at subsurface and surface facilities creating a challenge for flow assurance and safer operation. Deposition of wax on the inner walls of the pipelines tends to decrease the flow of crude oil thereby causing billions of dollars of loss. This article reviews in detail about the various aspects of the microbial degradation of waxy crude oil, along with different mechanisms involved in the hydrocarbon degradation. In addition, the article acts as a guide to screen the microorganism suitable for different environmental conditions for their applications in pipelines, oil spill remediation and microbial-based enhanced oil recovery technique to waxy and heavy oil reservoirs for environmentally safe operation. [Received: February 20, 2016; Accepted: March 20, 2016]

Keywords: biosurfactant; enhanced oil recovery; EOR; flow assurance; microbial degradation; paraffin; waxy crude oil.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOGCT.2017.086315

International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2017 Vol.16 No.2, pp.130 - 165

Available online: 10 Aug 2017

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article