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Proceedings Paper

Petroleum exploration in Africa from space
Author(s): Marco Gianinetto; Federico Frassy; Martina Aiello; Francesco Rota Nodari
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Paper Abstract

Hydrocarbons are nonrenewable resources but today they are the cheaper and easier energy we have access and will remain the main source of energy for this century. Nevertheless, their exploration is extremely high-risk, very expensive and time consuming. In this context, satellite technologies for Earth observation can play a fundamental role by making hydrocarbon exploration more efficient, economical and much more eco-friendly. Complementary to traditional geophysical methods such as gravity and magnetic (gravmag) surveys, satellite remote sensing can be used to detect onshore long-term biochemical and geochemical alterations on the environment produced by invisible small fluxes of light hydrocarbons migrating from the underground deposits to the surface, known as microseepage effect. This paper describes two case studies: one in South Sudan and another in Mozambique. Results show how remote sensing is a powerful technology for detecting active petroleum systems, thus supporting hydrocarbon exploration in remote or hardly accessible areas and without the need of any exploration license.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10428, Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications VIII, 104280R (5 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2278305
Show Author Affiliations
Marco Gianinetto, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Federico Frassy, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Martina Aiello, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Francesco Rota Nodari, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10428:
Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications VIII
Ulrich Michel; Karsten Schulz, Editor(s)

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