Danish JIP to study EOR potential of microorganisms

Offshore staff

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Maersk Oil is participating in a four-year project investigating the use of biotechnology to lift oil recovery in the Danish North Sea.

BioRec (Biotechnology in Oil Recovery) is a joint industry project of Maersk Oil, the Danish Advanced Technology Foundation (Højteknologifonden), global biotech company Novozymes, DONG E&P, the Technical University of Denmark, the Danish Technological Institute, and Roskilde University.

“This project goes further than ordinary joint industry projects by linking separate industries – oil and biotechnology – through companies and institutions that are recognized internationally for their innovation,” said Troels Albrechtsen, head of Maersk Oil’s Corporate Technology and Projects department.

Three topics will initially be examined:
• Can enzymes and bacteria be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by feeding and growing in the reservoir to change the oil’s ability to flow?
• Can microbiologically-induced corrosion of pipelines be prevented by countering the bacteria that cause the damage with other bacteria or enzymes?
• Can proteins produced by coldwater fish or Scandinavian beetles that stop these creatures from freezing be replicated and used as a hydrate inhibition tool to stop ice from forming inside pipelines and wells?

Maersk Oil, Novozymes, DONG E&P, and Højteknologifonden will contribute funds, expertise, and materials to the academic institutions, which will conduct research and attempt to find commercially viable solutions.

The ultimate aim is to implement pilot tests at reservoirs in the Danish North Sea at the end of the four-year period.


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