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John E. McCray

Converting non-producible crude oil to CH4 via methanogenic crude oil biodegradation in oil reservoirs could serve as one way to increase our energy profile. Yet, field data supporting the direct relationship between methanogenesis and crude oil biodegradation are sparse. Indicators of methanogenesis, based on the formation water and gas geochemistry (e.g. alkalinity, δ13C–CO2) were compared with indicators of crude oil biodegradation (e.g. pristane/phytane and n-alkane ratios) from wells in the Wilcox Group of Louisiana to determine if increases in extent of methanogenesis were related to increases in extent of crude oil biodegradation. Shallow wells (393–442 m depth) contained highly biodegraded oils associated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Organic Geochemistry
Stimulating in situ microbial communities in oil reservoirs to produce natural gas is a potentially viable strategy for recovering additional fossil fuel resources following traditional recovery operations. Little is known about what geochemical parameters drive microbial population dynamics in biodegraded, methanogenic oil reservoirs. We investigated if microbial community structure was significantly impacted by the extent of crude oil biodegradation, extent of biogenic methane production, and formation water chemistry. Twenty-two oil production wells from north central Louisiana, USA, were sampled for analysis of microbial community structure and fluid geochemistry. Archaea were the dominant microbial community...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Frontiers in Microbiology
Injecting CO2 into depleted oil reservoirs to extract additional crude oil is a common enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) technique. However, little is known about how in situ microbial communities may be impacted by CO2 flooding, or if any permanent microbiological changes occur after flooding has ceased. Formation water was collected from an oil field that was flooded for CO2-EOR in the 1980s, including samples from areas affected by or outside of the flood region, to determine the impacts of CO2-EOR on reservoir microbial communities. Archaea, specifically methanogens, were more abundant than bacteria in all samples, while identified bacteria exhibited much greater diversity than the archaea. Microbial communities...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
The recent climate-exacerbated mountain pine beetle infestation in the Rocky Mountains of North America has resulted in tree death that is unprecedented in recorded history. The spatial and temporal heterogeneity inherent in insect infestation creates a complex and often unpredictable watershed response, influencing the primary storage and flow components of the hydrologic cycle. Despite the increased vulnerability of forested ecosystems under changing climate1, watershed-scale implications of interception, ground evaporation, and transpiration changes remain relatively unknown, with conflicting reports of streamflow perturbations across regions. Here, contributions to streamflow are analysed through time and space...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Nature Climate Change
Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are fueling anthropogenic climate change. Geologic sequestration of anthropogenic CO2 in depleted oil reservoirs is one option for reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere while enhancing oil recovery. In order to evaluate the feasibility of using enhanced oil recovery (EOR) sites in the United States for permanent CO2 storage, an active multi-stage miscible CO2flooding project in the Permian Basin (North Ward Estes Field, near Wickett, Texas) was investigated. In addition, two major natural CO2 reservoirs in the southeastern Paradox Basin (McElmo Dome and Doe Canyon) were also investigated as they provide CO2 for EOR operations in the Permian Basin. Produced...
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