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Microbial Prospection for Oil and Gas is a surface exploration technology based on detection of anomalies in microbial distribution in soil samples. Microbial Prospection is a unique, stand-alone method which has proved itself effective even in complex geological reservoir conditions. Its effective application and the high level of accuracy attained is the result of many years of practical experience. The use of specialised microbiological techniques to detect the presence of various groups of methane-, propane- and butane-oxidising microorganisms can reliably differentiate between prospective and non-prospective areas, as well as between oil and gas reservoirs.

The process is inexpensive and before any intensive seismic exploration is undertaken, MPOG should be carried out over the whole area on the basis of a minimum of one test per kilometre. A significant number (17) of microbial anomalies both onshore and offshore have been subsequently confirmed by exploratory boreholes over an area of 6,000 km². In practice, the majority of the producing wells have been located within microbial anomalies. The success rate of this microbial method of surface prospecting already exceeds 90 %. Non-yielding wells have been limted to the edges of the structure or to areas without any hydrocarbon content. The reservoirs detected by microbial research have been situated predominately in chalk zechstein and rotliegend down to a maximum depth of 3,500m.

Microbial Prospection for hydrocarbon deposits offers the following advantages:

  • Sample taking is simple and environmentally friendly
  • The technique is unaffected by external disturbance factors
  • Areas of application include both existing onshore (permanently frozen, continental and desert soil) and offshore sites
  • Establishing a clear distinction between oil reservoirs, gas reservoirs and oil bearing structures with a gas cap is generally fully feasible
  • The technique is not influenced by fractures, overlying salt or other geological structures
  • There are no halo effects - unlike other surface prospection processes e.g. ground/air measurements, isotope geochemistry
  • Reliable results are obtained even for structures having a complex geological formation
  • Wherever microbial evidence establishes the presence of hydrocarbon anomalies a high yield rate is achieved.
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