The effect of microbial treatment on pore structure of sandstone and carbonatereservoirs was determined. Understanding how different bacterial strains and their metabolic bioproducts affect reservoir pore structure will permit the prudent application of microorganisms for enhanced oil recovery. The microbial strains tested included Clostridium acetobutylicum. a polymer-producing Bacillus strain, and an unidentified halophilic anaerobe that mainly produced acids and gases. Electrical conductivity, absolute permeability, porosity and centrifuge capillary pressure were used to examine rock pore structures. Modifications of the pore structure observed in the laboratory cores included pore enlargement due to acid dissolution of carbonates and pore throat reduction due to biomass plugging. This paper shows that careful selection of microbes based on proper understanding of the reservoir petrophysical characteristics is necessary for applications of microbially enhanced oil recovery. These methods and results can be useful to field operators and laboratory researchers involved in design and screening of reservoirs for MEOR. The methods are also applicable in evaluation of formation damage caused by drilling, injection or completion fluids or stimulation caused by acids.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.