Author(s): Rling WF, Head IM, Larter SR
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Abstract The majority of the Earth's petroleum resource is partly biodegraded. This is of considerable practical significance and can limit economic exploitation of petroleum reserves and lead to problems during petroleum production. Knowledge of the microorganisms present in petroleum reservoirs, their physiological properties and the biochemical potential for hydrocarbon degradation benefits successful petroleum exploration. Anaerobic conditions prevail in petroleum reservoirs and biological hydrocarbon degradation is apparently inhibited at temperatures above 80-90 degrees C. We summarise available knowledge and conjecture on the dominant biological processes active during subsurface petroleum biodegradation.
This article was published in Res Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology