MPOG® - Microbial Prospecting for Oil and Gas

The MPOG® technology, used to explore for oil and gas reservoirs, has been developed 50 years ago by W. SCHWARZ und M. WAGNER.

MPOG® - Microbial Prospecting for Oil and Gas is a surface exploration technology based on detection of significant populations of specific, hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms in shallow soil samples (1-2 m below surface). By application of sophisticated microbiological techniques total number and biochemical activity of various groups of methane-, propane- and butane-oxidizing bacteria can reliably be determined. Positive geo-microbial signals highlight regions with considerably increased bacterial cell number and activity - so called microbial anomalies – which can only develop on basis of additional hydrocarbon supply from micro-seepages vertically above oil and gas bearing structures. Hence, the detection of such a microbial anomaly indicates a corresponding hydrocarbon signature in the deeper underground.

Application of MPOG® enables the reliable differentiation not only between hydrocarbon prospective and non-prospective areas but also between oil- and gas indications by identification of different groups of bacteria. Without an additional hydrocarbon supply from subsurface significant microbial populations cannot develop and merely background values will be recorded.

Microbial Prospecting for Oil and Gas (MPOG®) offers the following advantages:

  • Reliable differentiation between hydrocarbon prospective and non-prospective areas
  • Reliable, affordable and rapid results
  • Information about the infill of structures (oil, gas)
  • Cost-reduction for exploration by exclusion of non-prospecting areas
  • Applicable in all regions, onshore and offshore
  • Effective also in difficult terrain
  • Reproducible results also on complex geological structures
  • Repeated and complementary measurements possible (after 1 year)
  • Fast, easy and environmentally-sound sampling technology
  • Most efficient in combination with other exploration surveys (seismic acquisition)
  • No “halo” effects