It has long been understood that light hydrocarbons can escape from oil and gas fields and migrate to the surface. Once at the surface, their presence affects the local organic material, which in turn make small changes in bio-geochemical surface conditions. For example, certain types of bacteria thrive by feeding on hydrocarbons. Although they will have no noticeable effect in the visible light range, in aggregate these tiny changes cause variations in the earth’s emission of certain frequencies electromagnetic radiation. These can be picked up by finely tuned satellite imaging cameras.

Anomalies highlighted after analysis of electromagnetic radiation images taken from satellite
Satellite Giant
Satellite imaging shows up a giant potential oil field under after analysis through three different algorithms

In 2013 ANE commissioned Scotforth Ltd to carry out satellite surveys of our Namibian concessions. This allowed us to gain relatively coarse grain data about this vast and hard to reach region. They used Remote Sensing Direct Detection of Hydrocarbon (RSDD-H) techniques to analyse the images collected and identify anomalies in ground level electromagnetic radiation. Using this method, 10,000km², 44% of the concession area, was surveyed in detail and 7 High Quality Anomalies were identified covering 2,000km². We can now narrow down our area of focus, before more detailed aerial and ground surveys take place.