Metagenomics for Greener Production and Extraction of Hydrocarbon Energy

Link to Hydrocarbon Metagenomics siteHydrocarbon Metagenomics

Project Leader:
Gerrit Voordouw, University of Calgary

Partner Institutions:
ARC Resources, BakerPetrolite, ConocoPhillipsEnCana, Nexen, Profero, Quick Silver Resources, Shell, Suncor, Syncrude, Trident Exploration

Project Description:
The Hydrocarbon Metagenomics Project is utilizing state-of-the-art sequencing and bioinformatics tools to develop biotechnology that will reduce the environmental impact of oil sands operations and make hydrocarbon energy extraction more efficient. Although hydrocarbon resources are typically found far below the surface at high pressures and temperatures, these resources are formed by microbial activity. This project is using next-generation sequencing technologies to identify the microorganisms and microbial processes indigenous to hydrocarbon resource environments. This knowledge is being used to develop oil sands (tailings ponds) management strategies that reduce green-house-gas emissions, increase the water recovery rate, reduce toxicity, and limit microbial corrosion in horizontal wells and bitumen carrying pipelines. This project is also developing strategies that improve gas recovery from coal beds by stimulating microbial activity and increasing hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands and other hydrocarbon reserves.

Competition: Applied Genomics Research in Bioproducts or Crops

Project Website: http://www.hydrocarbonmetagenomics.com/