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Biodegradation of crude in petroleum reservoirs is an important exploration risk with major economic consequences. World Oil presented a paper by (Alan Yu, et al. April, 2002) that attempted to quantify that risk through integration of temperature and hydrocarbon-charge histories modeling. At and near the surface, this alteration process by aerobic degradation of petroleum is well documented. However, biodegraded oils are found in reservoirs where aerobic conditions are unlikely. This, together with the recent identification of several anaerobic microorganisms in oil fields and the discovery of anaerobic oil-biodegradation mechanisms, means that anaerobic biodegradation processes could also be responsible.

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