Using Microorganisms Patents (Class 166/246)
  • Patent number: 9739129
    Abstract: The invention is a method of increasing hydrocarbon recovery through the biomineralization sealing of fractured geological formations followed by refracturing, including preparing a composition with biochemical components that is delivered into a geological subsurface through a cased well bore. Nutrient solutions are delivered into the geological subsurface through the well bore, thereby metabolizing the nutrient solutions with the biochemical components to create a mineralizing byproduct. Mineralizing solutions are delivered into the geological subsurface, delivering the composition, nutrient solutions and mineralizing solutions to targeted geological formations having existing formation fractures, through casing openings. Mineralizing solutions react with the mineralizing byproduct to produce minerals, which crystallize in the existing formation fractures, sealing and strengthening the existing formation fractures and resulting in sealed fractures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignees: Montana Emergent Technologies, Inc., Montana State University
    Inventors: Alfred B. Cunningham, Dwight Randall Hiebert
  • Patent number: 9719335
    Abstract: An enhanced recovery method that optimizes the stages of pumping, transport and surface treatment of the production effluent, during which a sweep fluid having at least one polymer so as to displace hydrocarbons towards a production well is injected into a reservoir, the resulting production effluent having hydrocarbons is collected through the production well, and a degradation agent for a polymer within the sweep fluid is injected into the effluent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: IFP ENERGIES NOUVELLES
    Inventors: Jean-Francois Argillier, Isabelle Henaut, Adeline Dupas
  • Patent number: 9708526
    Abstract: Methods of reversibly altering the rock hydrology in systems, such as oil reservoirs, by inducing authigenic mineral-precipitating bacteria to produce authigenic rock mineral.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
    Inventor: John D. Coates
  • Patent number: 9683162
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods of establishing a microbial plug in a hydrocarbon-containing geological formation which has been flooded with water. Also disclosed herein are methods of maintaining such plugs-and methods of controlling alteration of the position and/or extent of an established plug. Disclosed herein are plugs such as microbial plugs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: GOE-IP AS
    Inventor: Asle Ravnas
  • Patent number: 9670395
    Abstract: The present invention relates to methods of treating a subterranean formation with a composition including a compound made by a microorganism or a microorganism that can make the compound. Various embodiments provide methods of using compositions for treatment of subterranean formations including exopolysaccharides or microorganisms that can make exopolysaccharides under downhole conditions. In various embodiments, the present invention provides a method of treating a subterranean formation, including providing at least one exopolysaccharide by subjecting an extremophilic or extremotolerant microorganism to conditions such that the microorganism forms the exopolysaccharide, or by subjecting a microorganism genetically modified using an extremophilic or extremotolerant microorganism to conditions such that the microorganism forms the exopolysaccharide. The method can also include contacting a composition including the exopolysaccharide with a subterranean material downhole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Cato Russell McDaniel
  • Patent number: 9650561
    Abstract: A method of increasing oil recovery from oil reservoirs includes the step of conducting a series of lab analysis that lead to a specific nutrient formulation followed by or in parallel with a genetic analysis of resident microorganisms in water produced from an oil reservoir to determine if the population of oil interactive microorganisms may be modified to produce a change in oil-water relative permeability of an oil reservoir. The series of analyzes are conducted to determine the contents of a specific nutrient formulation package to optimize changes in the resident microorganisms to enhance oil recovery by changing oil-water relative permeability in the oil reservoir. Next the specific nutrient formulation is applied to stimulate some of the resident microorganisms to interact with oil contained in the reservoir rock formations. The stimulation step is followed by limiting the specific nutrient formulation to alter or modify the physiology and surface characteristics of the targeted microorganisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Titan Oil Recovery, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan James Sheehy, Bradley Ray Govreau, Colin Kenneth Hill, Michael Thomas Carroll, Brian W. G. Marcotte
  • Patent number: 9630225
    Abstract: A system and method for long term storage of waste can include a comminuted material having a high surface area. The comminuted material can include particles of processed hydrocarbonaceous materials from which hydrocarbon products have been derived. The comminuted material can be contacted with a flowable waste material so that the flowable waste material is retained in the comminuted material. This flowable waste material is some material other than hydrocarbon products that have been derived from the hydrocarbonaceous materials. An encapsulation barrier can envelope the comminuted material and provide a secondary means of preventing escape of the flowable waste material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: Red Leaf Resources, Inc.
    Inventor: James W Patten
  • Patent number: 9611458
    Abstract: Provided are a method for preparing a highly versatile aqueous solution having remarkably improved membrane filterability, which can be stably membrane-filtered in a short time, an aqueous solution prepared by the preparation method, a method for culturing cells using the aqueous solution which is prepared by the preparation method, a method for producing a physiologically active substance using the culturing method, a physiologically active substance produced by the method for producing a physiologically active substance, a method for performing membrane filtration of the aqueous solution which is prepared by the preparation method of the aqueous solution, a method for improving membrane filterability of the aqueous solution, and a method for producing the physiologically active substance by preparing the aqueous solution, performing membrane filtration of the aqueous solution, and then culturing cells using the resulting aqueous solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: KYOWA HAKKO KIRIN CO., LTD
    Inventors: Yoshinobu Konno, Kairo Wakamatsu, Yasufumi Imamoto, Jun Ishibashi, Ken Takahashi, Hisaya Tanaka
  • Patent number: 9598944
    Abstract: A method for enhanced oil recovery in an underground reservoir involving use of system including at least one injection well having an injection pump for establishing an injection stream, the injection pump includes a carrier system and an enzyme system; at least one production well having at least one fluid output; a mixed injection stream through the at least one injection well including a first injection stream having a flow rate S1 produced by the carrier system and a second injection stream having a flow rate S2 produced by the enzyme system; a concentration of enzyme Cen,3 in the mixed injection stream established using the formula C en , 3 = ( C en , 1 · S 1 + C en , 2 · S 2 S 1 + S 2 ) , where Cen,1 and Cen,2 are the enzyme concentration of the first and second injection streams; and an underground water stream in fluid connection with the injection well and production well, the stream including water injected by the carrier system and enzyme solution injected
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Maersk Olie og Gas A/S
    Inventor: Soren Frank
  • Patent number: 9550937
    Abstract: At least one biosurfactant may be added to a hydrocarbon-based fluid to decrease the viscosity of the hydrocarbon-based fluid. The biosurfactant(s) may be less toxic to the environment than other diluents typically used to decrease the viscosity of such fluids. The biosurfactant(s) may be or include, but are not limited to mycolic acids, glycolipids, lipopolysaccharides, lipoproteins-lipopeptides, phospholipids, and combinations thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: Baker Hughes Incorporated
    Inventors: Koral B. Campbell, Jerry J. Weers
  • Patent number: 9545652
    Abstract: A method for using a bioelectrochemical system for the remediation of contaminated substrates is disclosed. The system is partially submerged into the contaminated substrates and stimulates electron transfer by microbial species in order to degrade contaminating hydrocarbons in the substrate, including vadose zone substrates. A method for the generation of electricity using bioelectrochemical reaction in contaminated substrates is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
    Inventors: Yi Zuo, Zhiyong Jason Ren, Song Jin
  • Patent number: 9488586
    Abstract: A mini-reservoir device may be used to screen or otherwise determine a composition of one or more treatment fluids, additives, and other fluids. Such fluids may be for use in a subterranean formation. Methods of determining a composition may include visual analysis of each of two or more fluids, each from a plurality of candidate fluids, flowed through a mini-reservoir device, and selection of one of the plurality of candidate fluids based at least in part upon that visual analysis. Certain methods may include determining an oil recovery factor for each of one or more fluids flowed through a mini-reservoir device. In particular methods, multiple treatment fluids and/or additives, such as surfactants, may be selected based at least in part upon visual analysis of the fluids' flow through a mini-reservoir device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: Multi-Chem Group, LLC
    Inventors: Kai He, Liang Xu
  • Patent number: 9447682
    Abstract: The present invention relates to carbon-based fluorescent nano-agent tracers for analysis of oil reservoirs. The carbon-based fluorescent nano-agents may be used in the analysis of the porosity of a formation. The nanoagents are suitable for injection into a petroleum reservoir and may be recovered from the reservoir for the determination of hydrocarbon flow rates and retention times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignees: Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Cornell University
    Inventors: Mazen Y. Kanj, Mohammad Harunar Rashid, Emmanuel Giannelis
  • Patent number: 9285356
    Abstract: Methods, computer-readable media, and systems for determining oil viscosity based on biodegradation are described. A chemical signature of oil obtained from a subterranean zone is received. An amount of bacteria associated with oil in the zone based on the chemical signature of the oil is received. Using an empirical relationship relating oil viscosities to amounts of bacteria, an oil viscosity that is empirically related to the amount of bacteria is identified. The identified oil viscosity for the oil is provided, for example, in response to input requesting oil viscosity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Naim Wajih Al-Jabari
  • Patent number: 9238842
    Abstract: The invention provides a quick method for detecting the genus of Bacillus in samples from oil reservoirs, which comprise: collecting samples from oil reservoirs; inactivating microbes except for spore-forming Bacillus in the samples through high temperature; collecting spores from the samples; incubating the collected spores in a medium, and stimulating to resurrect Bacillus under in situ temperatures of the oil reservoirs; detecting the resurrected Bacillus in the cultures using molecular biological techniques. The present invention provides an effective method to detect the genus of Bacillus in samples from oil reservoirs, which is conducive to the discovery of the functional Bacillus for microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) and to revealing the ecosystem of Bacillus in oil reservoirs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2016
    Assignee: China University of Geosciences, Beijing
    Inventors: Fan Zhang, Yuehui She, Dujie Hou, Lujun Chai
  • Patent number: 9057082
    Abstract: Disclosed are strategies for the economical microbial generation of hydrogen, useful as an alternative energy source, from hydrocarbon-rich deposits such as coal, oil and/or gas formations, oil shale, bitumen, tar sands, carbonaceous shale, peat deposits and sediments rich in organic matter through the management of the metabolism of microbial consortia.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: Transworld Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Roland P. DeBruyn, James B. Dodson, Robert S. Pfeiffer, Eric L. Szaloczi, Glenn A. Ulrich, Jeffrey L. Weber
  • Publication number: 20150122486
    Abstract: Described are a method and composition which use microorganisms for downhole applications, in particular for the maintenance or restoration of the integrity of a cement sheath in a wellbore. The method of cementing a wellbore comprises preparing a cement composition comprising a pumpable slurry of cement, water and a healing agent that comprises one or more microorganisms, delivering the cement composition into the wellbore and allowing the cement composition to set. The method of restoring the integrity of a set cement composition in a wellbore comprises preparing a pumpable slurry that comprises water, a healing agent that comprises one or more microorganisms and optionally cement, pumping the slurry into the wellbore in and around the set cement composition, and allowing the one or more microorganisms to grow and replicate to thereby restore the integrity of the set cement composition. Compositions for carrying out the methods are also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2014
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventors: Karen LUKE, Duane BROWNLEE
  • Patent number: 9012378
    Abstract: Apparatus and compositions for reducing the viscosity of a gelled fluid is provided. In one embodiment, a viscosity reducing microbe is disposed in a capsule and added to the gelled fluid. The gelled fluid may include a thickening agent adapted to increase its viscosity. Upon release from the capsule, the microbe begins to digest the thickening agent in the gelled fluid and/or releases enzymes that that breakdown the thickening agent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Inventors: Barry Ekstrand, Frank Zamora, Sarkis R. Kakadjian
  • Patent number: 9004162
    Abstract: Methods for enhancing acetoclastic methanogenesis in subterranean geologic formations. The methods may include accessing a microorganism consortium in the formation, and assessing the consortium for acetoclastic methanogenic activity. The methods may further include modifying the formation environment based on the consortium assessment to increase methane production from acetoclastic methanogenic pathways used by the consortium. The modifications to the formation environment may include introducing an amendment and/or introducing acetoclastic microorganisms to the formation environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Transworld Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Joel R. Sevinsky, Gary F. Vanzin, Shelly A. Haveman, Nicholas R. Kotter, William Mahaffey
  • Publication number: 20150075776
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a method for enhancing biogenic methanogenesis in carbon-containing materials. The process includes evaluating existing geophysical conditions in a site, identifying optimal geophysical conditions for biogenic methanogenesis, introducing an enhancing fluid into the site configured to alter the existing geophysical conditions, assessing the altered geophysical conditions, comparing the altered geophysical conditions to the optimal geophysical conditions, and repeating the evaluating, introducing, assessing, and comparing steps until the altered geophysical conditions more closely resemble the optimal geophysical conditions. The enhancing fluid contains microorganisms, chemicals, and/or nutrients.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2014
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventors: D. Jack Adams, Aleksandra Ola Opara
  • Patent number: 8973655
    Abstract: A multistage process for producing mineral oil from mineral oil deposits by injecting aqueous flooding media into a mineral oil formation through injection boreholes and withdrawing the mineral oil through production boreholes, in which the mineral oil yield is increased by the use of microorganisms in combination with measures for blocking highly permeable zones of the mineral oil formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Wintershall Holding GmbH
    Inventors: Vladimir Stehle, Rajan Hollmann, Robert Thummer
  • Publication number: 20150000908
    Abstract: Methods and compositions are provided wherein microorganisms are used to alter the interface of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon-coated surfaces to increase oil recovery, for improved bioremediation and/or to benefit pipeline maintenance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: EDWIN R. HENDRICKSON, Abigail K. Luckring, Michael P. Perry
  • Publication number: 20140367087
    Abstract: A method for improving oil recovery includes determining a specific nutrient package or formulation for stimulating and altering resident microorganisms to increase wettability of reservoir rock formations in oil reservoirs. Once determined, the specific nutrient package is applied to the oil reservoir to stimulate the resident microorganisms. The stimulating application is followed by a period of nutrient limitation where the physiology and surface characteristics of the resident microorganisms are altered. Once altered, the resident microorganisms interact with the reservoir rock formations to change the adhesion tension of the reservoir rock formation to a more water wet condition so that oil will flow more freely rather than be bound to the rock surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Alan James Sheehy, Bradley Ray Govreau, Colin Kenneth Hill, Michael Thomas Carroll, Brian W.G. Marcotte
  • Publication number: 20140367089
    Abstract: A method of improving oil recovery includes the step of selecting an oil containing rock formation having geologic structures and well completions with vertical permeability that allow a structurally high water injection point. Through a series of analyses a nutrient water mixture is determined and injected at the injection point to stimulate resident microorganisms through gravity dispersion of nutrient materials. A period of limitation is allowed to permit changes in the size or hydrophobic properties of the microorganisms. Through interaction with the stimulated resident microorganisms, oil, trapped in a pore space, is freed to accumulate with upward gravity separation for production.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Alan James Sheehy, Bradley Ray Govreau, Colin Kenneth Hill, Michael Thomas Carroll, Brian W. G. Marcotte
  • Publication number: 20140367088
    Abstract: A method of increasing oil recovery from oil reservoirs includes the step of conducting a series of lab analysis that lead to a specific nutrient formulation followed by or in parallel with a genetic analysis of resident microorganisms in water produced from an oil reservoir to determine if the population of oil interactive microorganisms may be modified to produce a change in oil-water relative permeability of an oil reservoir. The series of analyses are conducted to determine the contents of a specific nutrient formulation package to optimize changes in the resident microorganisms to enhance oil recovery by changing oil-water relative permeability in the oil reservoir. Next the specific nutrient formulation is applied to stimulate some of the resident microorganisms to interact with oil contained in the reservoir rock formations. The stimulation step is followed by limiting the specific nutrient formulation to alter or modify the physiology and surface characteristics of the targeted microorganisms.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2014
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Alan James Sheehy, Bradley Ray Govreau, Colin Kenneth Hill, Michael Thomas Carroll, Brian W. G. Marcotte
  • Publication number: 20140352946
    Abstract: Controlling microbial growth and activity during Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery processes is disclosed. Specific control of microbial growth and activity in this process results in prevention of nutrient loss in transit and allows better targeting of microbial activity to the desired subsurface location(s).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2014
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Inventor: ROBERT D. FALLON
  • Publication number: 20140352945
    Abstract: A method of degrading a filtercake in an interval of a wellbore penetrating a subterranean formation is provided, wherein the filtercake includes a gelled or solid material that can be dissolved or hydrolyzed with an acidic fluid. The method includes the steps of: (A) introducing a treatment fluid into the interval of the wellbore, the treatment fluid comprising: (i) water; and (ii) an acid-producing anaerobic microorganism; and then (B) shutting in the interval of the wellbore.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Publication date: December 4, 2014
    Applicant: Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
    Inventors: Achala Vasudev Danait, Lalit Pandurang Salgaonkar
  • Patent number: 8863855
    Abstract: Methods of enhancing oil recovery from subterranean hydrocarbon reservoirs are described, wherein a microorganism capable of digesting oil is injected into the formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Statoil ASA
    Inventor: Hans Kristian Kotlar
  • Publication number: 20140299314
    Abstract: A method of controlling sulfides in a fluid including determining selected conditions of the fluid and selecting a nitrogen reducing bacteria (NRB) based on those conditions. The method further includes injecting an NRB into the fluid and injecting an inorganic nitrate into the fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2013
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Applicant: MULTI-CHEM GROUP, LLC
    Inventors: Edward Corrin, Michael Harless
  • Patent number: 8826976
    Abstract: A process for producing mineral oil from mineral oil deposits by injecting aqueous flooding media into a mineral oil formation through injection boreholes and withdrawing the mineral oil through production boreholes, wherein the process comprises several cycles of process steps in which oil-mobilizing microorganisms and flooding water are injected alternately into the deposit. Processes in which highly permeable regions of the mineral oil formation are additionally blocked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Wintershall Holding GmbH
    Inventors: Vladimir Stehle, Rajan Hollmann, Robert Thummer
  • Patent number: 8826975
    Abstract: A method of microbial enhanced oil recovery from an oil-bearing formation that involves treating the water that is to be injected into the oil-bearing formation to enable microbial activity and adding oxygen to aid microbial activity. The treatment applied to the water is based, at least in part, upon establishing at least one condition in the oil-bearing formation favorable to microbial activity that enhances movement of oil from the oil-bearing formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Glori Energy Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Raymond Pavia, Thomas Ishoey, Stuart Mark Page, Egil Sunde
  • Patent number: 8794315
    Abstract: A method of increasing biogenic production of a combustible gas from a subterranean geologic formation is described. The method may include extracting formation water from the geologic formation, where the extracted formation water includes at least a first species and a second species of microorganism. The method may also include analyzing the extracted formation water to identify the first species of microorganism that promotes the biogenic production of the combustible gas. An amendment may be introduced to the formation water to promote the growth of the first species of microorganism, and the biological characteristics of the formation water may be altered to decrease a population of the second species in the geologic formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Transworld Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Robert S. Pfeiffer, Glenn Ulrich, Gary Vanzin, Verlin Dannar, Roland P. DeBruyn, James B. Dodson
  • Publication number: 20140202685
    Abstract: Methods of treating a subterranean formation penetrated by a wellbore of a well, wherein the subterranean formation includes carbonate. The methods can include the following steps of: (1) optionally, fracturing the subterranean formation; (2) optionally, acidizing the subterranean formation with a Bronsted-Lowry acid; (3) treating the subterranean formation with an acid-producing microorganism, a nutrient for the microorganism, and, if needed, a suitable electron acceptor for respiration by the microorganism; (4) optionally, flushing the wellbore with a wash fluid to push the microorganism deeper into the subterranean formation and wash it away from the metal tubulars of the well; (5) preferably, shutting-in the well for a required incubation period for in-situ acid generation by the microorganism; and (6) preferably, after the shut-in, flowing back fluid from the subterranean formation into the wellbore.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Applicant: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC
    Inventors: Achala V. Danait, Lalit Pandurang Salgaonkar, Ramesh Uppuluri
  • Publication number: 20140202684
    Abstract: Methods of treating a subterranean formation penetrated by a wellbore of a well, wherein the subterranean formation includes carbonate. The methods can include the following steps of: (1) optionally, fracturing the subterranean formation; (2) optionally, acidizing the subterranean formation with a Bronsted-Lowry acid; (3) treating the subterranean formation with an acid-producing microorganism, a nutrient for the microorganism, and, if needed, a suitable electron acceptor for respiration by the microorganism; (4) optionally, flushing the wellbore with a wash fluid to push the microorganism deeper into the subterranean formation and wash it away from the metal tubulars of the well; (5) preferably, shutting-in the well for a required incubation period for in-situ acid generation by the microorganism; and (6) preferably, after the shut-in, flowing back fluid from the subterranean formation into the wellbore.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Applicant: HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC.
    Inventors: Achala V. Danait, Lalit Pandurang Salgaonkar, Ramesh Uppuluri
  • Patent number: 8783345
    Abstract: A method of microbial enhanced oil recovery from a wellbore in an oil-bearing formation that includes injecting water into the oil-bearing formation via a tubing string in the wellbore and introducing oxygen into the oil-bearing formation for consumption by microbes in the oil-bearing formation. The oxygen introduction includes delivering the oxygen into the oil-bearing formation without having the introduced oxygen contact the walls of the tubing string and without having the introduced oxygen contact the injected water within the tubing string while the injected water is in the tubing string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: Glori Energy Inc.
    Inventors: John Babcock, Bud Bierhaus, Mark Mayfield, Thomas Ishoey
  • Patent number: 8770282
    Abstract: Methods of stimulating biogenic production of a metabolic product with enhanced hydrogen content are described. The methods may include accessing a consortium of microorganisms in a geologic formation that includes a carbonaceous material. They may also include providing hydrogen and one or more phosphorous compounds to the microorganisms. The combination of the hydrogen and phosphorous compounds stimulates the consortium to metabolize the carbonaceous material into the metabolic product with enhanced hydrogen content. Also, methods of stimulating biogenic production of a metabolic product with enhanced hydrogen content by providing a carboxylate compound, such as acetate, to a consortium of microorganisms is described. The carboxylate compound stimulates the consortium to metabolize carbonaceous material in the formation into the metabolic product with enhanced hydrogen content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Transworld Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Robert S. Pfeiffer, Glenn A. Ulrich
  • Publication number: 20140182840
    Abstract: A method of monitoring fluid flow in an oil reservoir includes the step of delivering a nutrient package to an oil reservoir. The nutrient package stimulates the growth of resident microbes/organisms which changes the morphology and function of the microbes. A sample is taken from produced fluids from wells in the reservoir and possible connections thereof and analyzed. Based on the analysis, determinations are made regarding the movement of fluids in the reservoir by observing changes in the range, concentration, and cell morphology of the microbes after nutrient stimulation by comparing pre-treatment versus post treatment measurements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2014
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: TITAN OIL RECOVERY, INC.
    Inventors: Alan James Sheehy, Brian W. G. Marcotte, Michael Thomas Carroll, Colin Kenneth Hill
  • Patent number: 8757253
    Abstract: An environment is moderated against microbial buildup, and especially bacterial buildup in an area where residual liquid wastes are collected or retained or added into natural ground formations. Water wastes are created, collected in storage areas or retained in natural land formations after the use of fluids to extract hydrocarbons contained in oil sand or oil shale or other hydrocarbon rich formations. The residual water wastes are of the type that generate or provide or promote in or above the fluid at least one waste selected from the group consisting of bacteria, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, mercaptans and organic acids. A combination is provided of at least one of i) a friction reducing polymer for oil extraction and/or a polymer capable of absorbing at least ten times its weight in water (preferably a super-absorbing polymer) and ii) a combination of salts that react to liberate I2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Biolargo Life Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth R. Code
  • Patent number: 8746334
    Abstract: A post cold heavy oil production with sand (“CHOPS”) microbial enhanced oil recovery method comprises selecting a well having at least one wormhole and that has completed primary CHOPS production. When the reservoir does not contain enough of a gas producing indigenous microbe, an injectant is prepared comprising a gas-producing microbe, a nutrient suitable for the microbe, and a fluid base. The injectant is injected through the well and into the at least one wormhole in the reservoir; the well is shut in until pressure in the well reaches the target pressure; and then the well is produced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Husky Oil Operations Limited
    Inventor: Gokhan Coskuner
  • Publication number: 20140151027
    Abstract: Processes relating to the production of methane, carbon dioxide, gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons, and other valuable products from subterranean carbon bearing formations, in-situ, are disclosed. In a preferred embodiment, such production utilizes indigenous and/or non-indigenous microbial consortia that are capable of converting a carbon bearing material such as shale or coal to desired products. In a particularly preferred embodiment there is provided a process for bioconverting a carbon-bearing subterranean formation, wherein the process comprises injecting fluid into a carbon bearing deposit with at least one injection well and removing injected fluid and product from the deposit through at least one production well, and controlling fluid pressure within at least a portion of the deposit by use of the injected fluid, the pressure being controlled such that the fluid pressure within at least a portion of the deposit exceeds the fluid pressure that normally exists in that portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2013
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Inventor: Robert A. Downey
  • Patent number: 8733437
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention described herein relate to methods and apparatus for recovery of viscous hydrocarbons from subterranean reservoirs. In one embodiment, a method for recovery of hydrocarbons from a subterranean reservoir is provided. The method includes drilling an injector well to be in communication with a reservoir having one or more production wells in communication with the reservoir, installing casing in the injector well, cementing the casing, perforating the casing, positioning a downhole steam generator in the casing, flowing fuel, oxidant and water to the downhole steam generator to intermittently produce a combustion product and/or a vaporization product in the reservoir, flowing injectants to the reservoir, and producing hydrocarbons through the one or more production wells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: World Energy Systems, Incorporated
    Inventors: Myron I. Kuhlman, Marvin J. Schneider, Norman W. Hein, Jr., Anthony Gus Castrogiovanni, Allen R. Harrison, Sharon Mayes
  • Patent number: 8720546
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is introduction of different nutrient solution formulations to a subterranean target site to prevent biofilm formation and biomass aggregation at the sand face of an injection well bore during MEOR or bioremediation processes. A first nutrient solution formulation supports growth of introduced microorganisms and a second nutrient solution formulation is used to promote biofilm formation to allow plugging of pores and channels in the subterranean target site, for MEOR or bioremediation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: E I du Pont de Nemours and Company
    Inventors: Albert W. Alsop, Sheryl M. Anyzek, Robert D. Fallon, Edwin R. Hendrickson, Sharon Jo Keeler, Abigail K. Luckring, Michael P. Perry
  • Publication number: 20140116682
    Abstract: Methods are provided for increasing overall fluid mobility in a near-wellbore region in an oil sands reservoir, for example in a reservoir having an inter-well region between a first well and a second well of a well pair in which at least a portion of the near-wellbore region is within the inter-well region. The methods may involve inoculating the near-wellbore region with a microorganism, wherein the near-wellbore region comprises a hydrocarbon phase and an aqueous phase, the viscosity of the hydrocarbon phase being greater than the viscosity of the aqueous phase. Conditions may be maintained in the near-wellbore region so that the microorganism metabolizes at least a portion of the hydrocarbon phase so that saturation of the near-wellbore region by the hydrocarbon phase decreases and saturation of the near-wellbore region by the aqueous phase increases.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2013
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Inventors: Rosana Patricia BRACHO DOMINGUEZ, Amos BEN-ZVI, Kirsten Amy Yeates PUGH, Subodh GUPTA
  • Publication number: 20140090833
    Abstract: Method comprising providing a portion of a subterranean formation having a first formation bacterial count as a result of the presence of a plurality of bacteria in the formation; providing a wellbore treatment fluid having a first wellbore treatment fluid bacterial count as a result of the presence of a plurality of bacteria in the wellbore treatment fluid; combining the wellbore treatment fluid with a a plurality of bacteriocins; placing the wellbore treatment fluid into a wellbore in the portion of the subterranean formation; reducing the first formation bacterial count to a second formation bacterial count; and reducing the first wellbore treatment fluid bacterial count to a second wellbore treatment fluid bacterial count.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Publication date: April 3, 2014
    Inventors: Jimmie D. Weaver, Paul D. Lord, Mary A. Hardy-McGowen
  • Publication number: 20140083679
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods of establishing a microbial plug in a hydrocarbon-containing geological formation which has been flooded with water. Also disclosed herein are methods of maintaining such plugs-and methods of controlling alteration of the position and/or extent of an established plug. Disclosed herein are plugs such as microbial plugs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2011
    Publication date: March 27, 2014
    Applicant: GOE-IP AS
    Inventor: Asle Ravnas
  • Publication number: 20140069635
    Abstract: The present application relates to methods of repressurizing petroleum reservoirs by increasing the rate of methane production.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 25, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Inventor: Johnny Mark Cordiner
  • Patent number: 8656992
    Abstract: The invention relates to treating of subterranean formations to increase the susceptibility (by way of chemical break down or solubilization, but not necessarily limited by these or any other theories) of large carbonaceous molecules therein, such as comprise coal, to bioconversion into methane and other useful hydrocarbon products by indigenous and/or non-indigenous microbial consortia, by introducing into the subterranean formations: (a) a solution containing at least one of an oxoacid ester of phosphorus or a thioacid ester of phosphorus; and (b) one or more other chemical compounds/chemical entities selected from the group consisting of: hydrogen, carboxylic acids, esters of carboxylic acids, salts of carboxylic acids, oxoacids of phosphorus, salts of oxoacids of phosphorus, vitamins, minerals, mineral salts, metals, and yeast extracts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Ciris Energy, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Downey
  • Publication number: 20140034297
    Abstract: Methods of dispersing an activation agent, nutrient, or both to a carbonaceous material to stimulate production of a biogenic gas are described. The methods may include accessing a subterranean geologic formation containing the carbonaceous material, and supplying a mixture to the formation. The mixture may include an activation agent or nutrient mixed with a dispersed phase and a continuous phase. The method may also include contacting the carbonaceous material with the mixture, and distributing at least a portion of the activation agent or nutrient over and/or into the carbonaceous material from the dispersed phase. The production of biogenic gases is increased by microorganisms that are stimulated by the distributed activation agent or nutrient to convert a portion of the carbonaceous material into the biogenic gases.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: LUCA Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Luca Technologies, Inc.
  • Patent number: 8631865
    Abstract: A biotechnological process for enhancing oil recovery of 14 to 25° API oil contained in carbonate or sandstone rock systems with low permeability utilizes indigenous extremophile microorganisms (first culture) from the oil well, a second culture containing selected microorganisms and its metabolites (gases, acids, solvents and surfactants), to improve oil mobility. Under anaerobic conditions, such microorganisms are able to grow in temperatures from 60 to 95° C., at pressures from 7 to 154.6 kg/cm2 and NaCl content from 5,000 to 45,000 ppm. Injection of indigenous microorganisms and a second culture for metabolites production into the well improves oil recovery after closing the system for periods from 5 to 10 days. The biotechnical process includes biostimulation (indigenous microorganisms) and bioaugmetation (second culture) to increase oil recovery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo
    Inventors: Patricia Olguín Lora, Gladys Teresa Castorena Cortés, Teresa Guadalupe Roldán Carrillo, Norma Icoquih Zapata Peñasco
  • Publication number: 20140008058
    Abstract: Methods for increasing the increasing the rate of methane production in a subsurface reservoir are provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Publication date: January 9, 2014
    Inventors: Ian McCutcheon Head, Johnny Mark Cordiner