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TDI-Brooks International, an offshore geochemical exploration and heat flow measurement specialist, has completed the offshore multi-beam phase of the Niger Delta under the Norwegian seismic data company TGS contract

49345052947 e1df2efd1d cSurface geochemistry exploration campaigns are a low-cost exploration tool. (Image source: kees torn/Flickr)

This survey was conducted in water depths of 750 to 3,500 m, and is the first Multibeam and Seafloor Sampling (MB&SS) regional multi-client study in Nigeria.

The R/V Proteus is scheduled to begin acquisition of the follow-up Surface Geochemical Exploration (SGE) coring campaign in July 2020, where approximately 245 piston core samples are collected targeting suspected seep features selected from the MBES dataset, along with an additional 45 additional piston core samples for geotechnical and biostratigraphic studies.

An additional 17 surface heat flow measurements will also be collected as part of the programme.

Surface Geochemical Exploration is a petroleum prospecting tool based on the premise that traces of upward migrated petroleum from deep-source rocks and reservoirs can be detected in targeted seabed sediments, and used to assess potential for exploration.

Modern Surface Geochemical Exploration campaigns utilise an integrated approach to identify seepage on the seafloor, pinpoint core locations, and accurately characterise geochemical results. The science and art of this seep hunting involves:

-Proper selection of core sites from the geophysical records,

-Safe and skilled acquisition of seabed cores at these exact sites,

-Analytically distinguishing promising samples from samples with varying levels of natural background concentrations, and

-Properly interpreting the geochemical results in a geologic context.

Once analyses have been completed, geochemical data are combined with geophysical and geological data sets to provide insight into migrated hydrocarbons, their type and maturity, and to demonstrate charging. Surface geochemistry exploration campaigns are a low-cost exploration tool that provides insight into reservoirs at depth before a well is ever drilled.