--> Application of Hyperspectral Technology for Offshore Oil Slick Mapping

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Application of Hyperspectral Technology for Offshore Oil Slick Mapping - A World First for BHPBilliton


 Grant McMurtrie1, Paul Quaife2, Colin Ashman3

(1) BHPBilliton Petroleum, Perth, Australia (2) Resource Management Australia, Perth, Australia (3) BallAIMS, Canberra, Australia

 BHP Billiton and Joint Venture Partners, ChevronTexaco and Kerr McGee, have recently conducted an extensive airborne hyperspectral survey for mapping surface oil slicks in their deep water acreage, offshore NW Australia. The survey follows an intensive phase of research and development, including Calibration Trials over the past year and is believed to be a global first for the industry.

BallAIMS, an Australian Company which is part of the major, USA based, Ball (aeronautical/space) Corporation own, operate and develop, a number of high technology systems. In 2000 BallAIMS teamed up with Resource Management (Australia), a Perth based business specializing in Remote Sensing Methods, and undertook research and calibration Trials using the BallAIMS CASI Hyperspectral sensor. The success of these trials led to an approach to BHPB in 2001.

The CASI hyperspectral sensor provides a very high, resolution slick mapping capability over basin scale areas at resolutions of less than 1m. The sensor is uniquely programmable and can deliver up to 288 separate channels of data. The detailed spectral content of the data results in improved oil slick detection and few ‘false positives’ compared to conventional techniques.

Results from the oil calibration Trials conducted in 2000 and 2001 are presented which demonstrate the application of hyperspectral data in mapping a full range of different oil types from heavy oil to 55 API condensate in varying sea state conditions.

An example of multiple oil slicks mapped during the recent BHPB survey in some 1500m water depths is provided and the application of this technology to other areas is discussed.