Nigerian Crude Oil DNA Fingerprinting and Crude Oil Harvestation from Tank Farms in Nigeria

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Project Overview

Principal Investigator

Gloria I. B. Obioh

Background Information.

The petroleum industry is facing a major problem with the large amount of oil residue generated in the tanks that store and process crude oil or its products. The accumulation of sludge in the storage systems poses a challenge of inefficiency of storage capacity as otherwise useful storage space may be occupied by the sludge. There is also the challenge of loss of stored products due to the large quantity of oils that are trapped in the formed sludge. The presence of heavy hydrocarbons in the oily sludge makes it very viscous, acidic and toxic making it a major hazard to the surrounding environment and to human health.Researchhas shown that the residues of petroleum sludge, which according to a sample from the Azzawiya oil refinery in Libya mainly consist of oil, water and solid residues in 42.8%, 2.9% and 55.2% respectively, result in the alteration of the product quality and reduced capacity of the tanks. The solution for this problem as well as the need for regular inspection and maintenance requires the removal of this oil sludge and the internal cleaning of the tanks.  Several recovery and clean-up methods are available in the world market today; the most efficient, safest, most economical and most environmentally friendly processes being the biotechnology approaches. Thus, there is a need for Nigeria to acquire and domesticate some of the Best Available Technologies (BAT) particularly, Best Environmental Technologies (BET).


Objective and Scope

The main objective is to conduct research on the available biological processes and products used in cleaning crude oil storage tanks and recovering paraffin from bottom sludgeacquire as well asvalidate, acquire and domesticate highly efficient BET. Scope includes:

  1. Facilitation of the Preparation of Legal Documents and Project Enabling Activities
  2. Site Appraisal Visits
  3. Capacity Building of Critical Project Personnel and Technology Transfer
  4. Upgrading the Environmental Analyses Laboratory at EBD
  5. Ex situ/Laboratory Studies on selected biotechnologies for tank farms cleaning and paraffin recovery from tank farms
  6. In SituSmall Pilot-scale Studies
  7. Protocols and Products validation
  8. Deployment of Tested Technologies.


Project is new but has:

Developed key working documents and enabling activities; and

Carried out preliminary appraisal visits.

Research Details

  • Category:Environmental Biotechnology