Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oil Eating Microbes Create Clean Energy From Oil

Below the surface (TGW) – An oil eating bug may help a new industry create clean energy from trillions of barrels of heavy crude, which is costly and ineffective to do with today’s methods.

Researchers have shown how microbes in oil reservoirs break down crude and release methane.

The problem, the reason why the microbe isn’t already in mass production, is the challenge of pumping the microbes with the equivalent of steroids, so they can complete this process in 10 years, instead of 10 million.

"If it can be done economically, that's a game-changer, because the average heavy oil recovery worldwide is 17 percent," Larter said. "If you can suddenly liberate a tiny additional fraction of that as methane rather than as heavy oil, with all of its environmental and cost footprint, then it's a huge thing."

The process of injecting steroids can be done in laboratory, but it is not know whether the process works in practice in oil fields.

Via :: Reuters