Twenty five years after the Hamill brothers discovered the
world's most productive oilfield ever at Spindletop, an emerging
exploration technology uncovered oil in Fort Bend County Texas.
The problem in those days was that unless you were lucky enough
to have oil bubbling out of the ground, it was nearly impossible to
figure out exactly where to drill.
You could spend many fortunes drilling test holes, looking for
oil. And if you were even a few feet off of a major vein, you'd be
out of luck - and out of money.
Enter a solution that's still being used and perfected today...
The year was 1926. A German scientist named Ludger Mintrop
employed an exploration crew for Gulf Oil using technology he had
developed during World War I.
The technology analyzed how sound waves traveled through space.
Mintrop had originally designed it to help locate Allied artillery
firing positions. To do so he set up three of his specialized
instruments, and when the Allied gun fired, he could use the data
gathered by his instruments to triangulate and pinpoint the gun in
After the war, he developed the technique to work in the earth.
Again, he set up a series of instruments, set off a charge, and
measured the time it took the sound waves to travel through the
earth from the point of the charge. The result was a host of data
that could detect changes in geological structures beneath the
Since certain types of structures were more likely to hold
hydrocarbons (like oil and natural gas) than others, and Mintrop's
tools could tell the difference, this technique was worth a literal
fortune to energy exploration companies. They knew they had to have
Today, energy companies all over the globe rely on this
specialized technology to pinpoint potential oil and natural gas
reserves. It is the only way they can economically explore for
these energy sources.
The technology, broadly known as reflection seismology or simply
as 'seismic' has evolved and is used on land, in marine
environments, and in the transition zone between land and water.
The companies that make this technology today are manufacturing
a 'must have' for energy explorers. Shooting seismic is standard
procedure before drilling. The best companies are making this
technology more accurate, more efficient to deploy - and as with
technology for computers, phones and most other electronic
...Seismic technology is now going mobile.
In the past, most sensors were linked by cables - shooting miles
of seismic required miles of cables. Now, the market is in
transition - getting rid of the cables and moving to cableless
I can't emphasize enough - this type of mobile seismic
technology is a huge growth catalyst for companies that make and
lease this equipment to seismic contractors.
Mobile seismic technology makes surveying a given property much
more efficient, and potentially much less expensive - because it's
now completely un-tethered by cables.
For the past couple of years survey crews have been testing this
equipment to see if it stands up to the rigors of intense field
April 2010 article in E&P Magazine
discussed the advantages of cableless systems based on trials by
major oil and gas production companies.
The results were overwhelmingly positive, and suggest that
cableless systems can open the 'exploration door' to previously
inaccessible regions, decrease environmental impacts, and reduce
health and safety hazards for seismic contractors.
With energy demand back on the rise, exploration crews have
begun to rely on these wireless systems for special applications. I
believe their use will become main-stream within the next decade as
older, more cumbersome equipment is phased out, and the advantages
of cableless systems make them standard equipment.
Right now, the energy market has hit a soft spot. The
International Energy Agency (IEA) recently forecast that oil demand
will decline in the first half of 2011, and energy stocks have
pulled back as a result. In my opinion, this is not going to last,
the IEA's own forecasts show oil demand rising above record levels
later in 2011, and into 2012.
And as long as there is demand in the world for oil and natural
gas, there will be demand for seismic equipment.
I believe this soft spot has created a buying opportunity for
energy stocks. I've recently added two companies to my portfolio
that are leaders in seismic technology development. These additions
increased my previous exposure, which included two companies that
are searching for oil and natural gas in regions of the world with
huge, yet untapped, energy production potential.
If you're interested in learning more about the companies that
are perfecting this new, vital technology, I encourage you to take
a closer look at my research
by clicking here now.