Staphylococcus sp. isolated from oil-contaminated soil was grown in 1% drilling fluid base oil, HDF- 2000, as a sole source of carbon and energy. The organism has strong affinity for the substrate, growing at the rate of 0.16 h-1. It uses adherence and emulsification as mechanisms for oil uptake. In a nutrient-rich marine broth, base oil (up to 2.0% v/v) and glucose (up to 1.6% w/v) have no significant effect on the growth rates. This showed that the Staphylococcus sp. is a strong primary utilizer of the base oil and has potential for application in bioremediation processes involving oil-based drilling fluids.
Key words: Drilling fluid base oil, Staphylococcus sp., biodegradation.
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