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.
- Microbial enhanced energy recovery (MEER)
- Oil reservoirs
- Reservoir souring
- Subsurface microbiology