While demand for petroleum products continuous to rise, petroleum production worldwide is in a steady decline. However, new developments in technology and the rise in world oil prices give promise that substantial portions of otherwise neglected oil can be recovered. So in the continues race of exploring petroleum, recovery of known reserves must be improved if the goal of avoiding shortages is to be met.
One of the promising recovery methods is the microbiological enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). MEOR technology has the potential to be one of the reliable technologies that suits best the economic constraints of the current oil markets. The technology is a potential alternative to other EOR/ IOR methods, as it is being implementing in most parts of the world with satisfactory results not only from economics point of view but also from having lesser environmental impact.
The paper provides a review on MEOR technology and discusses it with special emphasis to marginal and/or uneconomical reserves. The goal of cost reduction, which is a major objective in any recovery methods, can be met by using MEOR technology which involves injecting a small amount of a solution containing microorganisms to spread through the reservoir and consequently produce desirable chemicals and gases that will enhance oil recovery and therefore profit. The paper also outlines the strategies to identify and meet the challenge of recovering large proportions of oil using MEOR techniques which could be very helpful in closing the energy gap by draining large proportions of oil which is left behind and minimizing the supply and demand difference in today's "energy hungry world".