Abstract

Contemporary investigations of biotechnology designed for oil and gas aqueous production systems began in earnest in the early 1980's. Since then, numerous research and field programs have examined the reliability of the concepts, processes, and technical efficacy of such systems. The Bio-Competitive Exclusion (BCX) technology has successfully demonstrated through field projects, partially funded by the U. S. Department of Energy, significant tertiary oil recovery and total control of sulfide (H2S) contaminated systems. This fully developed technology presents a new understanding of reservoir ecology and the establishment of indigenous reservoir and produced water microorganisms.

Beneficial alteration and control of the in situ methods and products to deliberately manipulate microflora community is possible through the use of low cost nitrate-based formulae that function as alternate electron acceptors and microbial nutrient for targeted denitrifying bacteria (DNB). The environmentally safe inorganic salt formulae complement the naturally occurring water-soluble volatile fatty acids (VFA) in the reservoir and produced waters, and selectively stimulate and increase the DNB populations. The proliferation of metabolic activity of DNB denies SRB essential VFA needed for reduction of sulfate to sulfide, thus effectively terminating H2S production. Nitrate reduction by DNB concurrently produces gases, solvents, and surfactant metabolic bio-products at the pore level that have known and demonstrable oil recovery properties. Increased oil recovery and H2S elimination field data from California and Canada are presented.

Introduction

The LATA Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Geo-Microbial Technologies, Inc. (GMT), is a privately owned geomicrobial and geochemical business and research organization headquartered in the Tulsa, Oklahoma U.S.A. area. LATA's specialized expertise covers the microflora of aqueous systems, focusing primarily on the role of microorganisms in the petroleum and environmental industries, and the development and marketing of innovative and green biotechnologies that serve the global oil and gas industry.

The LATA-GMT scientists have over 100 years of combined experience in biological research and development relating to oil and gas producing systems. Their work has resulted in biological processes and products that destroy and prevent biogenic hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in reservoirs, wells, and produced water systems, as well as a powerful and low cost tertiary oil recovery method.

Successful field demonstrations of the Bio- Competitive Exclusion (BCX) technology and environmentally friendly Max-Well 2000 products have led to commercial implementation in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. P. K. Services International, Calgary, is the Canadian representative for the BCX technology.

Defining the Sulfide Problem

The occurrence of poisonous and corrosive hydrogen sulfide (also referred to as H2S and sulfide) in aqueous systems is a major problem for many industries. The National Association of Corrosion Engineers estimates the total cost of corrosion at nearly 300 billion dollars per year worldwide. Biogenic sulfide is especially acute in the international oil and gas industry, and constitutes a serious environmental and economic dilemma, causing production and revenue loss, increased microbial influenced corrosion (MIC) and related costs, and is a serious health and environmental hazard.

As the source of biogenic sulfide production, certain indigenous bacteria-sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB)-have received enormousattention and study for man

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