Oil Exploration Technology: MPOG & MIOR
MPOG - Microbial Prospection for Oil and Gas
MPOG is a surface oil exploration technology based on the detection of anomalies in microbial distribution in soil samples. Microbial Prospection is a unique, stand-alone method which has proved itself effective even in complex geological reservoir conditions. Its effective application and the high level of accuracy attained is the result of many years of practical experience. The use of specialized microbiological techniques to detect the presence of various groups of methane-, propane- and butane-oxidizing micro-organisms can reliably differentiate between prospective and non-prospective areas, as well as between oil and gas reservoirs.
This process is inexpensive; and before any intensive seismic exploration is undertaken, MPOG should be carried out over the whole area on the basis of a minimum of one test per kilometre. A significant number (17) of microbial anomalies both onshore and offshore have been subsequently confirmed by exploratory boreholes over an area of 6,000 kmē. In practice, the majority of the producing wells have been located within microbial anomalies. The success rate of this microbial method of surface prospecting already exceeds 90 %. Non-yielding wells have been limited to the edges of the structure or to areas without any hydrocarbon content. The reservoirs detected by microbial research have been situated predominately in chalk zechstein and rotliegend down to a maximum depth of 3,500m.
MIOR - Microbial Improved Oil Recovery
MIOR is a secondary oil production process on a microbiological basis, which enables a greater production of oil through the injection of molasses and specialized bacteria, which synthesize various products and so improves the level of oil recovery. In comparison to other applicable methods such as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Microbial Improved Oil Recovery (MIOR) or Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) is rated as a more advanced EOR technique.
MIOR can be applied as a cyclic ("huff and puff") or as a continuous flooding process. For this purpose selected micro-organisms, (which can grow under reservoir conditions) and nutrients (molasses, nitrogen- and phosphate salts) are injected into the reservoir.
MIOR is a powerful and cost-effective method for recovery of additional oil from a reservoir. MIOR has been progressively developed over the course of 40 years, and differing techniques have been developed for sandstone and carbonate layers with ordinary and extreme reservoir conditions (high temperature high salinity).
About the Author: Austin Culley is the Vice President for Oil-Net.