Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Satellites to Find New Oil Deposits

From Science Daily:

A new map of the Earth’s gravitational force based on satellite measurements makes it much less resource intensive to find new oil deposits. The map will be particularly useful as the ice melts in the oil-rich Arctic regions. Ole Baltazar, senior scientist at the National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space), headed the development of the map.

The US company Fugro, one of the world’s leading oil exploration companies, is one of the companies that have already made use of the gravitational map. The company has now initiated a research partnership with DTU Space.

“Ole Baltazar’s gravitational map is the most precise and has the widest coverage to date,” says Li Xiong, Vice President and Head Geophysicist with Fugro. “On account of its high resolution and accuracy, the map is particularly useful in coastal areas, where the majority of the oil is located.”

Ole Baltazar’s map shows variations in gravitational force across the surface of the Earth and knowledge about these small variations is a valuable tool in oil exploration. Subterranean oil deposits are encapsulated in relatively light materials such as limestone and clay and because these materials are light, they have less gravitational force than the surrounding materials.

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