A Novel Approach to Enhance Crude Oil Recovery Ratio Using Selected Bacterial Species

Hakima Althalb, Izzeddin Elmusrati, Ibrahim M Banat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
101 Downloads (Pure)


The high viscosity and low flow properties of some crude oil make them difficult to extract from oil reservoirs. This study investigated the mechanisms responsible for the enhancement of oil re-covery using fractured dolomite core models. Bacterial strains, Nocardia cyriacigeorgica, Bacillus species, and Pseudomonas putida, isolated from Libyan oil fields, had the ability to biotransform heavy crude oil by reducing its viscosity and converting heavier components into lighter ones. The efficiencies of the three bacterial strains were assessed using sand-packed column experiments through the injection of bacteria to mimic in-situ oil recovery. The optimum biotransformation values of Libyan Bouri crude oil were determined as 77.1, 61.2, and 61.1% using the Bacillus sp., P. putida, and Nocardia cyriacigeorgica, respectively, at 55 °C. Viscosity analyses showed that these strains resulted in the reduction of the viscosity of the crude oil at two different temperatures of 37 and 55 °C. The highest recovery of residual oil was about 11.3% using Bacillus sp. The study con-firmed that the selected bacterial species were capable of displacing additional oil under simulated oil field conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10492
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was financed by Libyan Petroleum Institute (LPI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bacillus species
  • Nocardia cyriacigeorgica
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Dolomite core
  • Viscosity
  • Biotransformation


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