Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is an emerging EOR technique that has struggled to gain traction over the past few decades and taken a back seat to more mature technologies like steam injection and, more recently, CO2 gas injection. MEOR involves the introduction of novel microorganisms into the reservoir or the induction of native microbes by injecting nutrients to mobilize residual oil through interfacial tension reduction, selective plugging, biodegradation, and/or wettability alteration. While MEOR techniques have advantages over mature EOR technologies, such as low operating costs and low environmental impact, they remain extremely niche in their applicability.
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