Even as researchers around the world are working to advance energy production from renewable sources like solar and hydro power, the technology of oil production (or recovery, seeing as the oil is ready-made and lying in wait underground) hasn't stagnated. Among the most promising new methods is microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR)- sending genetically-engineered microorganisms deep underground to send oil up into waiting arms.
One of the chief problems in oil production is getting all of it -- it's not as easy as drilling a hole in the ground and sucking it out. As more and more of the oil is collected, what remains eventually costs more to recover than it's worth, and at that point the well is abandoned. MEOR promises to push that tipping point further back than ever before, extending the productive life of oil reserves by as much as 11%.