Petroleum sludge contains recalcitrant residuals. These compounds because of being toxic to humans and other organism are of the major concerns. Therefore, petroleum sludge should be safely disposed. Physicochemical methods which are used by this sector are mostly expensive and need complex devices. Bioremediation methods because of being eco-friendly and cost-effective overcome most of the limitations of physicochemical treatments. Microbial strains capable to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons are practically present in all soils and sediments and their population density increases in contact with contaminants. Bacterial strains cannot degrade alone all kinds of petroleum hydrocarbons, rather microbial consortium should collaborate with each other for degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures. Horizontal transfer of functional genes between bacteria plays an important role in increasing the metabolic potential of the microbial community. Therefore, selecting a suitable degrading gene and tracking its horizontal transfer would be a useful approach to evaluate the bioremediation process and to assess the bioremediation potential of contaminated sites.