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The oil and gas industry is crucial for the global economy. The oil and gas industry is not only responsible for the majority of primary energy generation but also acts as a significant supplier of raw materials for chemical products, which include pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics. For reliable and stable operation of the oil and gas industry, enhanced recovery process plays an important role. Out of many enhanced oil recovery methods, the microbial enhanced oil recovery has been gaining prominence.
Microbial enhanced oil recovery can be used either onshore or offshore reserves. Based on mechanism, enhanced oil recovery market can be classified as in-situ and ex-situ mechanisms. In in-situ mechanism, generation of certain kinds of products such as gases, acids, biopolymers, etc. occurs by stimulation of different indigenous bacteria under appropriate reservoir conditions.
Key Market Driver -
Key Market Driver – Increasing demand for full utilization of oil and gas reserves
Key Market Restraint -
Key Market Restraint – Low and fluctuating crude oil prices
On the contrary, ex-situ mechanism involves the selective removal of generated bioproducts from surface by microbial metabolic activities to be finally injected into the reservoir. The in-situ mechanism utilizes microbial growth and metabolism in the reservoir, and the ex-situ mechanism directly injects desired active products produced by microbes on the surface.
The primary market driver for the global microbial enhanced oil recovery market is the need for full utilization of hydrocarbon reserves from the well. Even after primary and secondary recovery methods, 30%-60% of oil reserves are remaining in the wells. These remaining reserves are removed using enhanced oil recovery. Out of several enhanced oil recovery methods, the one using microbes incurs a low cost as it does use additional infrastructure. As a result of low and fluctuating crude oil prices, investment in oil and gas has reduced significantly. This acts as a key market restraint for microbial enhanced oil recovery market.
Some of the notable companies in the global microbial enhanced oil recovery market are Environmental BioTechnologies Inc., Microbial Energy Inc., Danish Technological Institute, Sentinel Biologics, Titan Oil Recovery, Inc., Baker Hughes, a GE company, Chevron Corporation, BP, Shell, and Schlumberger.
The global microbial enhanced oil recovery market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The microbial enhanced oil recovery technique is used in mature wells to fully extract the hydrocarbon potential from the good reserves. North America is expected to play dominate the microbial enhanced oil recovery market. Shale gas exploration and extraction activities have been gaining traction in the USA. The companies have been shifting to frugal, economical and innovative technology to reduce the cost of fracking or extraction of shale gas.
The offshore oil exploration and extraction activities are increasing in USA. USA also has several old oil wells which use microbial enhanced oil recovery technique. The government of USA is promoting research, development, and demonstration of microbial enhanced oil recovery through funding and grants. From these trends, it is anticipated to boost the microbial enhanced oil recovery market in North America. Middle-East and African region are expected to positively influence the microbial enhanced oil recovery market. Middle-East region is the largest exporter of oil and gas in the world. The oil and gas production existing sites in the Middle-East are several years old and require use of microbial enhanced oil recovery methods.
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Some of these sites are on the verge of closure can have new life if microbial enhanced oil recovery is feasible for the well. Some of the few wells in African continent have the potential to use microbial enhanced oil recovery. Asia-Pacific will play a major role in the microbial enhanced oil recovery market. The microbial enhanced oil recovery activities in India, China, Southeast Asia, etc. have been gaining traction in the coming years. Europe is a significant region for the microbial enhanced oil recovery market. The oil and gas sites in UK, Norway, Russia, etc. use enhanced oil recovery techniques.
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