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Microorganisms and their effect on the environment is an essential part of the interpretation process of hydrocarbon seepage and overburden conditions. They are directly or indirectly involved in the majority of the chemical processes and effects occurring above an oil/gas reservoir and as such, information regarding the microbiological conditions is a valuable tool in exploration in both known fields and frontier areas.
Key information that may be otherwise overlooked can be obtained using microbial analysis.
ORG Geophysical samples every survey location for microbial cells by filtration and trapping of the cells on inert filters. The filters are vacuum dried and frozen for DNA/RNA preservation. Analysis is then carried out by targeting and quantifying specific genes required for petroleum hydrocarbon oxidation. The end result is the amount of bacteria actively degrading hydrocarbons in relation to the total amount of bacteria present.