Thursday, April 03, 2008

Looking For Oil Under the Lava Flows--New Oil Exploration Technology Opens New Frontiers

Huge quantities of oil lie in sediments that have been covered by volcanic activity over hundreds of millions of years of geologic upheaval. New methods of "seeing through" lava flows on the ocean floor--to the rich sediments below--are bringing previously hidden regions of the planet's undersea surface into the oil exploration game.
The scientists, led by Professor Robert White, FRS at the University of Cambridge (UK), also developed a new method of seeing through the thick lava flows beneath the seafloor to the sediments and structures beneath. The technique is now being employed to further oil exploration of the area which was previously restricted by the inability to image through the lava flows.

The research was funded by a university-industry research group, which included Cambridge and Liverpool Universities, Schlumberger Cambridge Research Ltd and Badley Geoscience Ltd, with major funding input from WesternGeco, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Department of Trade and Industry, and eight oil companies.

...The researchers’ findings [...] have implications for oil exploration in the region. Large volumes of oil have already been discovered (and are being extracted) in the sediments under the seabed between the Shetland Islands and the Faroe Islands. If these same sediments extend westward towards the Faroe Islands, as geological models suggest they do, there may be more oil to be found.

Conventional exploration techniques have not been able to penetrate the thick layers of lava flows that poured over them at the time the North Atlantic broke open. Techniques developed in conjunction with the mapping research enable the penetration of the molten rock layer to the sediments and structures that lie beneath them.___GCC
Peak Oil theory is based upon ignorance: Ignorance of the true extent of oil formations under most of the surface of the Earth. Only North America has been fairly well explored for oil, and even there, large new fields are still being found. The age of oil is far from over.

Which is a good thing, since neither renewable energy nor nuclear energy are ready to provide the fuels and power currently being provided by oil and gas. Oil will be absolutely necessary during the next few decades, to bridge into the new era of renewables, safe fission, and hopefully controlled fusion.

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