Friederike Marie Luise Grundger

Evidence for in situ methanogenic oil degradation in the dagang oil field

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  • Núria Jiménez, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH
  • ,
  • Brandon E.L. Morris, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH, University of Freiburg
  • ,
  • Minmin Cai, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH, University of Science and Technology Beijing
  • ,
  • Friederike Gründger
  • Jun Yao, University of Science and Technology Beijing
  • ,
  • Hans H. Richnow, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH
  • ,
  • Martin Krüger, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources

In situ biotransformation of oil to methane was investigated in a reservoir in Dagang, China using chemical fingerprinting, isotopic analyzes and molecular and biological methods. The reservoir is highly methanogenic despite chemical indications of advanced oil degradation, such as depletion of n-alkanes, alkylbenzenes and light polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) fractions or changes in the distribution of several alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The degree of degradation strongly varied between different parts of the reservoir, ranging from severely degraded to nearly undegraded oil compositions. Geochemical data from oil, water and gas samples taken from the reservoir are consistent with in situ biogenic methane production linked to aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbon degradation. Microcosms were inoculated with production and injection waters in order to characterize these processes in vitro. Subsequent degradation experiments revealed that autochthonous microbiota are capable of producing methane from 13C labelled n-hexadecane or 2-methylnaphthalene and suggest that further methanogenesis may occur from the aromatic and polyaromatic fractions of Dagang reservoir fluids. The microbial communities from produced oil-water samples were composed of high numbers of microorganisms (on the order to 10 7), including methane producing Archaea within the same order of magnitude. In summary, the investigated sections of the Dagang reservoir may have significant potential for testing the viability of in situ conversion of oil to methane as an enhanced recovery method and biodegradation of the aromatic fractions of the oil may be an important methane source.

TidsskriftOrganic Geochemistry
Sider (fra-til)44-54
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1 nov. 2012
Eksternt udgivetJa

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