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Risk Reduction and Soil Ecosystem Restoration in an Active Oil Producing Area in an Ecologically Sensitive Setting

Description: The empowerment of small independent oil and gas producers to solve their own remediation problems will result in greater environmental compliance and more effective protection of the environment as well as making small producers more self-reliant. In Chapter 1 we report on the effectiveness of a low-cost method of remediation of a combined spill of crude oil and brine in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Osage County, OK. Specifically, we have used hay and fertilizer as amendments for remediation of both the oil and the brine. No gypsum was used. Three spills of crude oil plus produced water brine were treated with combinations of ripping, fertilizers and hay, and a downslope interception trench in an effort to demonstrate an inexpensive, easily implemented, and effective remediation plan. There was no statistically significant effect of treatment on the biodegradation of crude oil. However, TPH reduction clearly proceeded in the presence of brine contamination. The average TPH half-life considering all impacted sites was 267 days. The combination of hay addition, ripping, and a downslope interception trench was superior to hay addition with ripping, or ripping plus an interception trench in terms of rates of sodium and chloride leaching from the impacted sites. Reductions in salt inventories (36 months) were 73% in the site with hay addition, ripping and an interception trench, 40% in the site with hay addition and ripping only, and < 3% in the site with ripping and an interception trench.
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: Sublette, Kerry L.; Thoma, Greg & Duncan, Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biocorrosive Thermophilic Microbial Communities in Alaskan North Slope Oil Facilities

Description: Corrosion of metallic oilfield pipelines by microorganisms is a costly but poorly understood phenomenon, with standard treatment methods targeting mesophilic sulfatereducing bacteria. In assessing biocorrosion potential at an Alaskan North Slope oil field, we identified thermophilic hydrogen-using methanogens, syntrophic bacteria, peptideand amino acid-fermenting bacteria, iron reducers, sulfur/thiosulfate-reducing bacteria and sulfate-reducing archaea. These microbes can stimulate metal corrosion through production of organic acids, CO2, sulfur species, and via hydrogen oxidation and iron reduction, implicating many more types of organisms than are currently targeted. Micromolar quantities of putative anaerobic metabolites of C1-C4 n-alkanes in pipeline fluids were detected, implying that these low molecular weight hydrocarbons, routinely injected into reservoirs for oil recovery purposes, are biodegraded and provide biocorrosive microbial communities with an important source of nutrients.
Date: September 16, 2009
Creator: Duncan, Kathleen E.; Gieg, Lisa M.; Parisi, Victoria A.; Tanner, Ralph S.; Green Tringe, Susannah; Bristow, Jim et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Biosurfactants enhance hydrocarbon biodegradation by increasing apparent aqueous solubility or affecting the association of the cell with poorly soluble hydrocarbon. Here, we show that a lipopeptide biosurfactant produced by Bacillus mojavensis strain JF-2 mobilized substantial amounts of residual hydrocarbon from sand-packed columns when a viscosifying agent and a low molecular weight alcohol were present. The amount of residual hydrocarbon mobilized depended on the biosurfactant concentration. One pore volume of cell-free culture fluid with 900 mg/l of the biosurfactant, 10 mM 2,3-butanediol and 1000 mg/l of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide polymer mobilized 82% of the residual hydrocarbon. Consistent with the high residual oil recoveries, we found that the bio-surfactant lowered the interfacial tension (IFT) between oil and water by nearly 2 orders of magnitude compared to typical IFT values of 28-29 mN/m. Increasing the salinity increased the IFT with or without 2,3-butanediol present. The lowest interfacial tension observed was 0.1 mN/m. The lipopeptide biosurfactant system may be effective in removing hydrocarbon contamination sources in soils and aquifers and for the recovery of entrapped oil from low production oil reservoirs. Previously, we reported that Proteose peptone was necessary for anaerobic growth and biosurfactant production by B. mojavensis JF-2. The data gathered from crude purification of the growth-enhancing factor in Proteose peptone suggested that it consisted of nucleic acids; however, nucleic acid bases, nucleotides or nucleosides did not replace the requirement for Proteose Peptone. Further studies revealed that salmon sperm DNA, herring sperm DNA, Echerichia coli DNA and synthetic DNA replaced the requirement for Proteose peptone. In addition to DNA, amino acids and nitrate were required for anaerobic growth and vitamins further improved growth. We now have a defined medium that can be used to manipulate growth and biosurfactant production. As an initial step in the search for a better biosurfactant-producing microorganism, 157 bacterial ...
Date: June 26, 2003
Creator: McInerney, M.J.; Knapp, R.M.; D.P. Nagle, Jr.; Duncan, Kathleen; Youssef, N.; Folmsbee, M.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an In Situ Biosurfactant Production Technology for Enhanced Oil Recovery

Description: The long-term economic potential for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is large with more than 300 billion barrels of oil remaining in domestic reservoirs after conventional technologies reach their economic limit. Actual EOR production in the United States has never been very large, less than 10% of the total U. S. production even though a number of economic incentives have been used to stimulate the development and application of EOR processes. The U.S. DOE Reservoir Data Base contains more than 600 reservoirs with over 12 billion barrels of unrecoverable oil that are potential targets for microbially enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). If MEOR could be successfully applied to reduce the residual oil saturation by 10% in a quarter of these reservoirs, more than 300 million barrels of oil could be added to the U.S. oil reserve. This would stimulate oil production from domestic reservoirs and reduce our nation's dependence on foreign imports. Laboratory studies have shown that detergent-like molecules called biosurfactants, which are produced by microorganisms, are very effective in mobilizing entrapped oil from model test systems. The biosurfactants are effective at very low concentrations. Given the promising laboratory results, it is important to determine the efficacy of using biosurfactants in actual field applications. The goal of this project is to move biosurfactant-mediated oil recovery from laboratory investigations to actual field applications. In order to meet this goal, several important questions must be answered. First, it is critical to know whether biosurfactant-producing microbes are present in oil formations. If they are present, then it will be important to know whether a nutrient regime can be devised to stimulate their growth and activity in the reservoir. If biosurfactant producers are not present, then a suitable strain must be obtained that can be injected into oil reservoirs. We were successful in answering all three ...
Date: September 30, 2007
Creator: McInerney, M. J.; Knapp, R. M.; Duncan, Kathleen; Simpson, D. R.; Youssef, N.; Ravi, N. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department