Microbiota and their affiliation with physiochemical characteristics of different subsurface petroleum reservoirs

Xiao Xiao Li, Serge Maurice Mbadinga, Jin Feng Liu, Lei Zhou, Shi Zhong Yang, Ji Dong Gu, Bo Zhong Mu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Microbial communities and their functions in subsurface petroleum reservoirs are crucially important for better understanding of biogeochemical processes and life forms in extreme environment, and developing new strategies and technologies for microbial enhanced energy recovery (MEER) and control of reservoir souring and corrosion in oil production systems as well as bioremediation of contaminated sites. Over the last decades, broad phylogenetic and functional diverse microbial communities of different subsurface oil reservoirs have been described by using the newly available molecular techniques, but the information has been scattered in individual publications. In this review, we present a synthesis on critical analysis of the bacterial and archaeal composition and diversity in oil reservoir systems for a more comprehensive understanding of microbiota and their affiliation to specific oil reservoir conditions, including temperature, salinity and production practices. In particular the frequently reported core and common species of microorganisms with specific characteristics of oil reservoirs including temperature, water flooding, oil and water phases were identified. This review gives an up-to-date information synthesis of the current data available and also a discussion on the challenging questions and the future research needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-185
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
StatePublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaea
  • Bacteria
  • Microbial enhanced energy recovery (MEER)
  • Oil reservoirs
  • Reservoir souring
  • Subsurface microbiology
  • Water-flooding


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