This microbial method was developed more than 40 years ago by Phillips Petroleum (Hitzman, 1959) and since 1985 has been available to industry from GMT. Soil samples for "MOST" are collected at a depth of 20 centimeters and, after overnight dehydration, are shipped to our Oklahoma laboratory to be analyzed for the presence of hydrocarbon-oxidizing microbes.
There is a direct positive relationship between the light hydrocarbon gas concentration in soils and these microbial populations, a relationship that is easily measurable and reproducible.
"MOST" samples are routinely processed to identify the presence of butane-oxidizing microbes, however, samples can also be processed to detect methane-oxidizers if necessary. After one week of incubation, the microorganisms grow into colonies visible to the naked eye. These colonies were counted and the Microbial Value for each sample was calculated as the average of the three agar plates.
GMT’s microbial method is a LOW COST, QUICK, and NON-INTRUSIVE survey and sampling strategy that can be applied in a wide range of environments and geologic settings, both ONSHORE and OFFSHORE. Microbial data represent an integrative method, that is, it records hydrocarbon microseepage over a time frame of weeks to months. Microbial anomalies have been proven to be reliable indicators of oil and thermogenic gas in subsurface, and the method has been widely used throughout the world.
Increase the Chance of finding production and decrease the number of dry holes.
Identify areas of highest exploration potential and add new dimension to seismic interpretation.
Measure and Identify bypassed compartments of missed zones charges with hydrocarbons.
The MOST technique is extremely versatile and can be used in a numberof different exploration strategies.