The majority of early oil discoveries until the 1950’s resulted from drilling wells near active seeps or other surface features thought to be related to underlying hydrocarbon accumulations. This led to the development of techniques referred to surface prospecting tools. Surface geochemical techniques were first applied by Laubmeyer and Sokolov almost 60 years ago with both success and failure. For over 50 years, oil & gas exploring earth scientists have developed and tested methods which can image hydrocarbon filled reservoirs by measuring near surface parameters. These traditional techniques have included direct soil analysis, active soil gas measurement and microbial techniques. Unfortunately, these traditional methods suffer from some limitations including the poor adsorptivity of soils in 1 of 5 exploration sites, sampling difficulty due to poor soil permeability, low analytical sensitivity, limited data sets of C1-C5 hydrocarbons (methanepentane). Modern surface geochemical technique is GORE™ Survey. This technique uses a passive signal collector that can work in dry, saturated soils or directly in water. It is sensitive enough to work in areas with overburden that are relatively impermeable and have extremely low ppt concentrations.


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