Dynamics of a microbial community during an effective boost MEOR trial using high-throughput sequencing
Using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, microbial communities in samples of injection water and production water during a serial microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) field trial in a water flooded high pour point oil reservoir were determined. There was a close microbial community compositional relationship between the injection water and the successful first round MEOR processed oil reservoir which was indicated by the result of 43 shared dominant operational taxonomic units detected in both the injection water and the production water. Alterations of microbial community after the injection of boost nutrients showed that microbes giving positive responses were mainly those belonging to the genera of Comamonas, Brevundimonas, Azospirillum, Achromobacter, Pseudomonas, and Hyphomonas, which were detected both in the injection water and in the production water and usually detected in oil reservoir environments or associated with hydrocarbon degradation. Additionally, microbes only dominant in the production waters were significantly inhibited with a sharp decline in their relative abundance. Based on these findings, a suggestion of re-optimization of the boost nutrients, targetting the microbes co-existing in the injection water and the oil reservoir and having survival ability in both surface and subsurface environments, rather than simple repeats for the subsequent in situ MEOR applications was proposed.