Hydrocarbon Degradation in Petroleum Reservoirs

Ian M. Head, Stephen Larter, Neil D. Gray, Angela Sherry, Jennifer Adams, Carolyn M. Aitken, D. Martin Jones, Arlene K. Rowan, Haiping Huang, Wilfred Roling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In-reservoir petroleum biodegradation has resulted in vast deposits of heavy oil around the globe. Extraction of heavy oil is more costly and less efficient than conventional oil production and consequently oil biodegradation on geological timescales has significant economic and environmental impacts. The processes that have led to the biodegradation of oil in situ have only recently begun to be elucidated and we have at best a qualitative understanding of the factors that promote oil biodegradation in petroleum reservoirs. A synthesis of current thinking on the mechanisms of, and controls on, in-reservoir oil biodegradation is presented. This is placed in the context of oil-field microbiology and used to identify potentially fruitful avenues of research required to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology
EditorsKenneth N. Timmis
Pages3097 - 3109
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783540775874
ISBN (Print)9783540775843
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrocarbon Degradation in Petroleum Reservoirs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this