Sunday, April 12, 2009

Aberdeen university unearths oil

The specific area of the Faroe-Shetland basin where research will be carried out is one of the world’s largest lava fields.The ancient lavas that sit under the sea surface in what was a narrow continental seaway have historically proven to be a serious obstacle to oil exploration for potential resources below and within the lavas.The technology that will be employed by experts at Aberdeen University, Scotland, is able to penetrate this layer of lava in a way that has never been trialled before.
Exploiting the previously untapped oil resources which lie within the Faroe-Shetland basin essentially means the introduction to the industry of an entirely new geographical area for future oil discovery and therefore production. This would mean a highly significant boost for the overall sector and, in particular the Aberdeen area, as the energy capital of Europe.
The geological qualities of the Faroe-Shetland basin make it an internationally significant hotspot for volcanic lava.A layer of lava some three kilometres thick covering an area of 300 square kilometres acts as a seal, trapping sand and mud - the sediment where oil can be found - between and beneath its flows.The thickness of the lava means that traditional techniques employed for oil exploration in, for example, the North Sea, simply do not work.They will be introducing cutting-edge technology which will allow mapping of sediments between the lava flows and the identification of oil reservoirs.

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