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The classical oil recovery methods allow recovering only about 30% of the available oil in a reservoir, thus complementary processes have been developed to increase the recovery rates. The consulting company ALCIMED points out the increasing interest on one of these techniques: the use of microbes. Proposed since the 1920’s, this method has remained practically unseen, however, it now seems more promising due to the convergence of several factors: higher oil prices, the low amount of new reservoirs discovered, the advances of modern biotechnology and the recent discovery and characterization of indigenous microbes actually living in the reservoirs.

Today, one of the main stakes of oil companies is to increase the oil recovery rate “increasing the oil recovery rate by 5% in average would represent the equivalent of the current...

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