The increasing demands for petroleum nowadays are leading to a growing interest in using remote sensing (RS) technologies for detecting petroleum deposit formations. Remotely sensed surface lineament analysis, correlated with a variety of geo-science data, could provide a useful approach for oil and gas exploration. At the same time, as a powerful and efficient data handling and processing tool, geographical information system (GIS) could also be incorporated within the RS framework for manipulating the obtained data and improving effectiveness of petroleum exploration. In this paper, a hybrid RS-GIS system is proposed for identifying potential petroleum exploration targets, and searching for undiscovered oil and gas formations along Iineament trends. This hybrid approach would not only facilitate petroleum resources exploration, but also enhance the related spatial analyses, modeling studies, and systems planning. The method is applied to a case study in the Liaohe Oilfields in Liaoning Province, China. The results indicate that reasonable and interesting outcomes have been generated.


Many countries in the world nowadays continue to have heavy reliance on petroleum resources due to the rapid population growth and economic pressures. As one kind of non-renewable energy resources with the nature of scarcity and depletion, petroleum resources management has caused an increased attention and concern for several decades, which involves oil and gas exploration, exploitation, transportation, distribution, allocation, conservation, and petroleum waste management. Among them, petroleum resources exploration and exploitation are one of major concern since (i) distribution of petroleum deposits could be verified through exploration, and (ii) petroleum supply may be increased to some extent by reasonable exploitation. Moreover, it seems quite evident that the period of massive discoveries of easily approachable oil and gas deposits had come to an end at late 1960's 1, Since then, the exploration and development of petroleum resources have involved enormous capital investment. Low efficiency exists in these processes due to limitations in technical and managerial effectiveness, especially in developing countries. This paper focuses on the provision of potentially more effective tools for petroleum exploration and exploitation.

The process of petroleum exploration and exploitation requires the consideration and integration of different types of information for creating a clear understanding of underground gas- and oil-bearing formations. Generally, distribution and reserve of petroleum resources under a certain region are unknown to some degree. Even some of the proved petroleum reserves, which are being exploited, could be changing temporally and spatially. Therefore, continuous acquisition of updated information is desired. Previously, the related information was collected, collated and analyzed through slow and painstaking manual methods 1. By traditional way of petroleum deposit exploration, we can drill anywhere and hit oil, but there is no way of knowing whether we have got a well that will last. With the advent of aerial photography and satellite remote sensing, remote sensing (RS) data become major sources of information required by decision-makers for petroleum resources management. RS is useful for fractured reservoir explorations, which looks at the surface in a way one can estimate or guess what is going on below.

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