Geotechnical firm Fugro has announced plans to carry out the largest ever survey for subsea hydrocarbon seeps, to cover an area of 180,000 square nm in the Gulf of Mexico. Naturally occuring seeps of hydrocarbons are an indicator of potential oil prospects, and Fugro says that finding them is a technically sophisticated process, requiring careful analysis of sonar backscatter data – but also a cost-effective way to hunt for oil reserves over a large area.The project will use multibeam sonar and sub-bottom profiling systems on three vessels, and data will be analyzed by geoscientists on board in real time. The survey will be carried out for multi-client geoscience data provider TGS, and is part of a larger industry-funded project called the Gigante Survey, which will also include 50,000 square nm of 2D seismic.
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