Evaluating the potential of indigenous methanogenic consortium for enhanced oil and gas recovery from high temperature depleted oil reservoir
In past years, lots of research has been focused on the indigenous bacteria and their mechanisms, which help in enhanced oil recovery. Most of the oil wells in Indian subcontinent have temperature higher than 60 °C. Also, the role of methanogenic consortia from high temperature petroleum reservoir for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has not been explored much. Hence, in the present study methanogens isolated from thermophilic oil wells (70 °C) were evaluated for enhanced oil recovery. Methane gas is produced by methanogens, which helps in oil recovery from depleted oil wells through reservoir re-pressurization and also can be recovered from reservoir along with crude oil as alternative energy source. Therefore, in this study indigenous methanogenic consortium (TERIL146) was enriched from high temperature oil reservoir showing (12 mmol/l) gas production along with other metabolites. Sequencing analysis revealed the presence of Methanothermobacter sp., Thermoanaerobacter sp., Gelria sp. and Thermotoga sp. in the consortium. Furthermore, the developed indigenous consortium TERIL146 showed 8.3% incremental oil recovery in sandpack assay. The present study demonstrates successful recovery of both oil and energy (gas) by the developed indigenous methanogenic consortium TERIL146 for potential application in thermophilic depleted oil wells of Indian subcontinent.