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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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Lockheed Tech Breakthrough Is About To Revolutionize Oil Exploration

A new sensor developed by Lockheed Martin and Neos will be able to find the location of precious metals and fossil fuels buried under the Earth’s surface by detecting the substance’s effect on the local gravity field.

World Oil’s report on the new technology, called Full Tensor Gradiometry (FTG) Plus, says the new device is 20 times more sensitive than gradiometers currently in use.

Lockheed Martin’s current prototype will be used on aircraft owned and operated by the Italian airline Neos.

"FTG Plus transforms what we can do and what we can see from the air," said Jonathan Faiman, chairman of Neos. "Remote sensing is going to dominate the exploration market, and with this sensor Neos will have the most advanced in the world. It will enable us to image resources cleaner, quicker and at a lower cost to our customers."

The company acquired the advanced detection program as a part of acquisitions it made from CCG, a global geoscience firm.

"The advances we will make here are extraordinary. One of the reasons is that in the past we and competitors have used military hardware, modified for geophysical survey purposes," Gregory Paleolog, the head of the FTG Plus program told World Oil. "FTG Plus is the first time Lockheed Martin has specifically built a sensor for our precise use and needs. That is a fundamental change; it is an entirely new design for us, and we have exclusive rights to use it." Related: Why Chevron And Shell Are Better Bets Than BP and Exxon

Neos will utilize the sensors, which can also be used in helicopters, in its fleets for oil, gas and mining projects.

The firm claims it could change the way governments and private exploration ventures find market-viable resources and make relevant extraction decisions.

"At a time when so much marine seismic equipment is being cold-stacked, we will be able to use non-seismic technology with a new sensor 20 times better than anything we have ever seen before," Paleolog added. "This means we will find more resources, quicker and with more accuracy than ever before. It will be transformative."

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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