Cyanobacteria (aka blue green algae), the alleged source of petroleum according to biogenic theory, feeds on crude oil. In other words, far from generating crude oil (and precisely the opposite), it destroys it.
Utilization of hydrocarbons by cyanobacteria from microbial mats on oily coasts of the Gulf.
Several pieces of evidence indicate that Microcoleus chthonoplastes and Phormidium corium, the predominant cyanobacteria in microbial mats on crude oil polluting the Arabian Gulf coasts, contribute to oil degradation by consuming individual n-alkanes. Both cyanobacteria grew phototrophically better in the presence of crude oil or individual n-alkanes than in their absence, indicating that hydrocarbons may have been utilized. This result was true when growth was measured in terms of dry biomass, as well as in terms of the content of biliprotein, the accessory pigment characteristic of cyanobacteria. The phototrophic biomass production by P. corium was directly proportional to the concentration of n-nonadecane (C19) in the mediumEnviromentalists in the Middle East and elsewhere use cyanobacteria to clean up oil spills.
When polluted gulf areas are left alone, extensive mats of blue-green algae appear on the oil layers (Al-Hasan et al., 1992). The mats are only associated with the oiled areas and the oil-free areas are free of the cyanobacterial mats. The microbial mats appear to be the only living things in the area. The microorganisms are both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic. Included in the mats is an organothophic bacteria which is capable of utilizing crude oil as a sole source of carbon and energy (Al-Hasan et al., 1992). It is believed that cyanobacteria can at most initiate the biodegradation of hydrocarbons in oil by oxidizing them only to the corresponding alcohols (Al-Hasan et al., 1994). Bacteria, yeast and fungi can then consume hydrocarbons by initially oxidizing then to alcohols, aldehydes, and finally to fatty acids, then degrading them further by beta oxidation to acetyl coenzyme A which can be used for the production of cell material and energy (Al-Hasan et al., 1994).Cyanobacteria are hydrocarbon destroyers not hydrocarbon generators.