Microbial induced mechano-petrophysical modified properties to improve hydrocarbon recovery in carbonate reservoirs

Oladoyin Kolawole, Cecil Millikan, Mallika Kumar, Ion Ispas, Joachim Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study focuses on the impact of a microbial-induced process on mechanical and petrophysical properties of tight carbonate hydrocarbon reservoirs and its implication for hydrocarbon recovery from carbonate reservoirs. Tight carbonate core samples were treated with cultured microbial media of Clostridium acetobutylicum at 42 °C for 14 days. The before- and after-treatment mechanical (unconfined compressive strength, UCS; fracture toughness, Ks) and petrophysical (porosity and permeability) properties of the core samples were investigated and analyzed. The scratch test method was used for assessing the geomechanical properties. The results indicate that in tight carbonate reservoirs, post-treatment microbial-induced alterations could degrade its mechanical integrity with −30% UCS and −28% Ks. The post-treatment improvement in petrophysical properties of the tight carbonate rocks yielded a 355% increase the porosity and +734% in permeability. The application of the technology presented in this study can potentially enhance the susceptibility for induced fractures to nucleate and propagate during reservoir stimulation in tight carbonate reservoirs, and enhance flow pathways to improve hydrocarbon recovery. This study provides insight into microbial-induced alteration technology that can be incorporated with other reservoir-stimulation techniques to further enhance hydrocarbon recovery from carbonate reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100399
JournalGeomechanics for Energy and the Environment
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


  • Biogeomechanics
  • Carbonate
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Geomechanics
  • Hydrocarbon recovery


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