He was kind enough to oblige — sending back the image below. Which immediately made me sit up and take notice: because Neil’s analysis picked out not only an anomaly on the known Repsol gas fields to the north, but also an even-bigger gas anomaly just beside Pan Orient’s East Jabung prospect.
The East Jabung target shows a very similar signature to known natural gas fields when using satellite imaging. Drilling is set to begin over the next few weeks, which will tell us for sure.
Now take a look at a zoom-in on Neil’s gas anomalies overlaid with the field map from earlier.
Gas anomalies from satellite imaging match up well with both known, big gas fields and the East Jabung prospect.
Does this mean East Jabung is a guaranteed hit? No — there are still a lot of things that can wrong with a hydrocarbon reservoir, even if gas is present.
But work like this gives valuable information about assessing a prospect. When methods like remote sensing suggest the presence of hydrocarbons, we can downgrade the so-called “charge risk” — the risk that a massive structure like East Jabung has great reservoir rocks and trapping mechanisms, but never got imbued with hydrocarbons.
The best thing is, this satellite work takes hours at a cost of a few thousand dollars — and gives us information potentially comparable to larger-scale surveys that cost hundreds of thousands or even millions, and take months to complete.
We’ll get a definitive idea when Repsol and Pan Orient drill their test well here, scheduled to spud before the end of the month. Watch for results in May or June — and in the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about groundbreaking satellite imaging for exploration, check out Dr. Neil Pendock’s website or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.