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Is Genetics the New Big Thing in Oil Detection?

The starting point to any oil drilling and retrieval process is detecting the most profitable areas with the highest yield. Traditionally, to identify these areas technical solutions such as spectrometers, seismic waves, and satellite imagery have been used.

Today, finding oil is more crucial than ever due to the rapidly depleting resources of the active wells and mines; to meet this challenge professionals are finding new methods for discovering reserves and maximising output.

Several professionals in America are testing the method of DNA science to locate oil more accurately, based on the theory that it can enable the complete recovery of oil instead of leaving some patches untouched due to insufficient mapping. Of course, before the DNA extracting method can be of use, traditional methods should be applied and the drilling process should begin.

The DNA method employs a technique where DNA samples are extracted from oil wells and compared to identify the most promising, oil-rich spots. The extracts are also contrasted against DNA taken from the retrieved oil to show similarities and differences, which then direct engineers to the areas with the highest oil saturation.

According to Ajay Kshatriya, CEO of developer company Biota Technology, using DNA analysis can reduce costs by 10% and minimise the wasted time before the pumping begins. The combination not only saves spending on resources, but also creates a higher output, essentially making “more for less”.

In 2016 the DNA method was put to a blind test by EP Energy, aiming to locate the origin of a sample based on an extract of DNA. After the successful outcome, Peter Lascelles, a geologist for the company, said he prefers it to more old-school chemical and seismic analysis as it gives a deeper insight into the underground rock.

In Dashboard’s opinion, the DNA analysis of oil wells shows plenty of promise. It can work effectively alongside the traditional favourites and make use of up to 95% of the oil within a given area. We share the focus on amplifying results rather than cutting costs, which has been a trend recently. Applying varying methods can provide innovative solutions, an idea that we have long shared.