During the early and mid 1990’s the western margin of Ireland and the UK was open up to exploration by flying Seepfinder™. The data was widely licensed and several discoveries have been made in areas where there are slick anomalies.
Seepfinder™ is an airborne technology owned by Oilsearch and CaribX have exclusive access to Oilsearch’s Seepfinder™, gradiometry and magnetics technologies in the greater Caribbean region.
Seepfinder™ employs a highly sensitive 14 channel light recorder mounted on the underside of a light plane (e.g. Navaho).
Sunlight excites electrons in the aromatic component of oil to move into higher orbits, being unstable the electrons then fall back to the lower orbit emitting tiny quantities of light in the process.
In the example below Seepfinder™ data was recorded along the Rockall Trough margin. The two intensely seeping areas (in red) are the locations of the Dooish and Bandon waxy oil discoveries. The Corrib field is hardly visible and that is because it is dry accumulation with a very low percentage of associated liquids.
|Seepfinder™ can fly some 1000 km per day therefore is quickly able to survey large areas for relinquishment or concentration of high end exploration activities.
Seabed coring and subsequent analysis (conventional and or Gore Sorber) may then be used to ground truth these anomalies or, as in the case of the Bandon discovery drill, a well.
The data can be used as an environmental baseline. Since everything leaks, the knowledge of the whereabouts or not of hydrocarbon leakage can be useful in subsequent post drilling assessment.
Oilsearch’s plane is demagnetised and fitted with a stinger so can record magnetic data as well as seep data. Magnetic lineaments can sometimes indicate the present of faults and migration pathways.
More recently Oilsearch have designed, built and patented a light weight gradiometry equipment and technology that will be flown in conjunction with seep and magnetics making a very powerful screening tool.