Press Releases

  • ONGC and TERI join hands to clean up oil spills in croplands

    11 March 2008

    ONGC and TERI have formed a Joint Venture known as ONGC-TERI Biotech Ltd (OBTL) for large scale application of microbial product Oilzapper for clean up of oil spills in farmers’ field and around oil installations and treatment of oily sludge hazardous hydrocarbon waste.

    A memorandum of understanding with ONGC was singed recently at ONGC, New Delhi. The agreement was signed by Mr M M Joshi, Director, Enterprise and Technology Development, TERI and Mr V K Jain, GGM & Head Corporate HSE, ONGC in the presence of Mr A K Hazarika, Director (Onshore), HSE, ONGC and Dr Banwari Lal, Director, Microbial Biotechnology, Environmental & Industrial Biotechnology, TERI. ONGC will use Oilzapper, MEOR and Prevention of paraffin deposition technologies in its various installations, assets, basins and plants and other such technologies to be developed by OTBL in future.

    Speaking on the occasion, Dr Banwari Lal, Director, Microbial Biotechnology, Environmental & Industrial Biotechnology, TERI said, “It is a great achievement for TERI to have entered into a joint venture with ONGC, which is the largest PSUs in India. This form of oil recovery is extension-friendly, cost-effective, yields economic benefits, and foremost it is environment-friendly in nature giving it an edge over other conventional methods. The possibilities that these invisible, living organisms offer us are immense and we at TERI are still tapping more as we progress in our research.”

    The Joint Venture will also provide Oilzapper, MEOR and Prevention of paraffin deposition technologies to ONGC, OIL and other companies in India and abroad especially in Middle East countries. In OTBL, TERI’s share is 47% and ONGC’s share is 49% and remaining is financial institutes’ share.

    Paraffin deposition in oil well tubing is a major problem, which cause enormous production loss. Conventional techniques for control of paraffin deposition in the oil well tubing is highly expensive and plagued with other associated problems. Currently ONGC is practicing scraping of oil well tubing, however sometimes scrapper wire breaks and blocks the oil well tubing. After that work over job is required to remove the scraper, which is costly. Prevention of paraffin deposition in oil well tubing by using microbes offers a cost effective approach.

    To solve this problem, thermophilic paraffin degrading bacterial strain (PDS-10) was developed for prevention of paraffin deposition inside the oil well tubing jointly by TERI and Institute of Reservoir Studies (IRS), ONGC, Ahmedabad. After application of these microbes paraffin deposition in well tubing was prevented and there was not a single scrapping in one year. Oil productions from these wells were also increased.

    About Oilzapper (a microbial product eliminate oil spill and manage oily sludge)
    Oilzapper – the wonder bioremediation agent- funded by Department of Biotechnology and developed at TERI after six years of extensive research work provides great significance to bioremediation in the worldwide effort to tackle oil spills, oily sludge, hazardous hydrocarbon waste unavoidably generated by oily refineries. This microbial product Oilzapper is being used by almost all the oil companies in India and list includes ONGC, IOCL, HPCL, OIL, BPCL, CPCL, Mangalore Refinery and BG Exploration Ltd and is also used in Middle East countries. With application of Oilzapper more than 50,000 hectares of cropland contaminated with crude oil spills has been reclaimed; and more than 1,00,000 tonnes of oily sludge and drill cuttings successfully treated with Oilzapper in India. The technology has won many national and international awards.

    About Microbial enhanced Oil Recovery Technology (MEOR)
    TERI and Institute of Reservoir Studies (ONGC) have developed a set of microbes, which are effective in enhanced oil recovery from stripper oil wells. These microbes mobilize crude oil trapped in pores in oil reservoir. This technique is known as Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). This MEOR technology has been tested in 40 oil wells of ONGC, Ahmedabad and Mehsana Assets jointly by IRS, ONGC, Ahmedabad Asset and Mehsana Asset and TERI, New Delhi. ONGC gained more than 96000 barrel of additional crude oil by injecting selected microbes into selected oil wells of ONGC, Ahmedabad and ONGC Mehsana Asset in Gujarat state.

    About paraffin degrading bacterial strain (PDS-10)
    Paraffin degrading bacterial strain was developed jointly by TERI, New Delhi and Institute of Reservoir Studies (IRS), ONGC, Ahmedabad. Paraffin degrading bacterial strain designated as PDS-10 was tested under laboratory condition at TERI, New Delhi and IRS, ONGC, Ahmedabad. Prevention of paraffin deposition by using microbes is economical viable and sustainable approach to prevent paraffin deposition and the technology has been used in 10 oil wells of ONGC at Western Oil field of India and scrapping was eliminated in these oil wells. Currently this technology is being applied in 50 oil wells of ONGC Ahmedabad Asset.