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Title: Preparing near-surface heavy oil for extraction using microbial degradation

In one embodiment, the invention provides a system including at least one computing device for enhancing the recovery of heavy oil in an underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment by performing a method comprising sampling and identifying microbial species (bacteria and/or fungi) that reside in the underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment; collecting rock and fluid property data from the underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment; collecting nutrient data from the underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment; identifying a preferred microbial species from the underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment that can transform the heavy oil into a lighter oil; identifying a nutrient from the underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment that promotes a proliferation of the preferred microbial species; and introducing the nutrient into the underground, near-surface crude oil extraction environment.
Inventors:
; ; ;
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1360950
Assignee:
International Business Machines Corporation PNNL
Patent Number(s):
9,664,010
Application Number:
12/973,766
Contract Number:
AC0576RL01830
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2010 Dec 20
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Other works cited in this record:

Biosurfactant and enhanced oil recovery
patent, June 1985

Oil recovery processes
patent, September 1986

Bacteria and its use in a microbial profile modification process
patent, January 1989

Microbial enhanced oil recovery and compositions therefor
patent, March 1990

Recovery of oil from oil reservoirs
patent, November 1990

Enhanced oil recovery using denitrifying microorganisms
patent, September 1991

Method of microbial enhanced oil recovery
patent, November 1992

Instrument for determining the stability of fat or oil
patent, August 1994

Bacteria mixture having heavy oil degrading ability and method of treating oil components
patent, November 2003

Method of microbial enhanced oil recovery
patent, July 2004

Method for modeling hydrocarbon degradation in an oil deposit
patent, November 2008

System and method for preparing near-surface heavy oil for extraction using microbial degradation
patent, April 2011

Evaluation of Inoculum Addition To Stimulate In Situ Bioremediation of Oily-Sludge-Contaminated Soil
journal, April 2001

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