frontier oil and gas exploration
It is well researched and documented that oil and gas deposits leak constantly traces of light hydrocarbon gases (C1-C4) as micro seepages directly up to the surface. Based on this observation the concept of an airborne technology is developed to detect in flight over wide areas with a high spatial resolution the presence of trace hydrocarbons on the ground indicating leaking and potentially commercial deposits of oil and gas deep in the ground.
The technology makes use of genetically engineered but environmentally safe soil bacteria and yeasts which function as whole cell live biosensors for trace hydrocarbons. They can be spread over vast areas or along selected search grids as a spray solution using conventionally crop duster technologies. Once the biosensors settle on the ground and get in contact with trace hydrocarbons they start producing fluorescent proteins in their cell envelopes. These proteins - if excited with light of the correct wavelength - are capable to reemit fluorescent light of a specific wavelength. An airborne scanning laser system is therefore used in a subsequent step to excite detect and georeference fluorescent light from biosensors in contact with trace hydrocarbons.
The described system is of course GIS enabled and capable to search vast land areas very quickly for even the slightes signs of hydrocarbon seepages.
This makes it an ideal tool for a multitude of tasks in oil and gas exploration. Among them the "first time ever" exploration of remote, difficult to access or hostile onshore basins, the exploration of difficult to find stratigraphic traps, the confirmation of seismic prospects or the deliniation of sweet spots in shale gas or tight sand plays.