JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY MASON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Biotechnology. Technician using an anaerobic tent to culture anaerobic bacteria, during research into microbially-enhanced oil recovery methods. Researchers hope to breed strains of chemical- producing bacteria, which can survive in the high temperature, high pressure, oxygen-free environ- ment of an oil reservoir. Several different bacterial chemicals are envisaged: surfactants & solvents to lower oil viscosity; viscous polymers to block porous "thief zones" where oil is lost; fermentation gases to clear blocked wells & soluble polymers to thicken the water pumped into a reservoir, making it more effective at sweeping the oil towards a production well.
Model release not available. Property release not required.