Large amount of organic and inorganic compounds are released constantly in the environment as a consequence of human activity and technological and industrial advancement. Environmental pollution by petroleum and petrochemicals, such as petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), is considered one of the most serious hazards today due to its worldwide distribution. Contamination by these pollutants causes degradation of global environment and a substantial reduction in biodiversity. In addition, a deep removal of the pollutants is often required to prevent their migration into the water, air and therefore threaten human health. In this way, the search for ecologically sustainable approaches to repair contaminated environments have been of great concern in society. Bioremediation is a technique, based on the metabolic activity of living organisms, which aims to reduce, degrade and/or remove contaminants from the marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It is a more economical and more efficient process to minimize waste, compared to the usual physical-chemical treatment methods. Historically, bioremediation has been used to restore environments polluted by PHCs, where microbial communities play a key role during this course, either by the direct degradation of pollutants or by interaction with other microorganisms. Finally, this review discusses about the soil contamination by PHCs, the role of living organisms in this mechanism and their recent application in bioremediation process.