Microbial and waterflooding of fractured carbonate rocks: An experimental approach

Abdulrazag Y. Zekri, Reyadh Almehaideb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Fractures and fractured zones require special attention while formulating a reservoir development plan. They may improve or hinder the oil production. Conductive fracture rocks may provide the required permeability to drain an oil saturated low permeability rock matrix. Low sweep efficiency of many oil reservoirs is the result of channelling of injected water through high permeability zones that are normally associated with naturally fractured systems in heterogeneous reservoirs. In this case, a substantial amount of effort needs to be focused on improving the distribution of injected water in the wellbore through different treatments, such as using gelling agents, cements, cross-linked polymer and emulsions. Other alternatives such as microbial and surfactant based methods have been proposed. This paper presents the results of research conducted on thermophilic bacteria that were obtained from UAE local environment. Coreflooding experiments were conducted on fractured single cores to show the effectiveness of microbial treatment. Different fracture angle orientations of 45°, 90°, and 180° relevant to the axis of the flow were investigated. The effect of matrix permeability on the treatment was also studied. A comparison between water flooding and microbial flooding of fractured systems was conducted. A non-invasive imaging technique-Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)-was employed to visualize changes on the surface of the fracture as a result of bacteria flow through the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalPetroleum Science and Technology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Carbonate rocks
  • Fracture
  • Microbial
  • Waterflooding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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