Tech & Science

DNA rock science helps wring more crude oil from shale rock, boosting supply

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A small group of U.S. oil producers has been aiming to exploit advances in DNA science to wring more crude from shale rock, as the domestic energy market keeps pressing relentlessly to cut expenses and compete with the world's top exporters.

The strategy involves testing DNA extracts from microorganisms found in rock samples and comparing them to DNA drawn out from oil. Resemblances or differences can pinpoint areas with the most significant capacity. The procedure can assist cut the time had to start pumping, shaving production expenses as much as 10 percent, stated Ajay Kshatriya, chief executive and co-founder of Biota Innovation, the business that developed this application of DNA science for usage in oilfields.

The details can assist drillers avoid missteps that avoid optimum production, such as applying insufficient pressure to reach oil caught in rocks, or drilling wells too carefully together, Kshatriya stated.

"I don't question that with sufficient info (Biota) might find a signature, a DNA finger print, of microbial genomes that can significantly improve the accuracy and speed of a number of diagnostic applications in the oil market," said Preethi Gunaratne, a teacher of biology and chemistry at the University of Houston.

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