This paper introduces a water-mapping technique that is particularly well suited to certain environmental protection and remediation tasks associated with petroleum production. In this procedure, electrodes are used to charge water systems with a low voltage electrical current. As the current flows through the water between the electrodes, it emits a magnetic field whose shape, depth and direction are characteristic of the surrounding aqueous network (Biot-Savart Law). This field is then read at the surface by a specially tuned receiver. The data thus generated can be used to create maps indicating the attributes of various subsurface water systems, including flooded oil fields.

The proven benefits of this mapping procedure are especially apparent in relation to water flooding and steam stimulation. As oil recovery techniques, these practices have significant benefits for the environment. By making existing oil fields more productive, they reduce the need for the development of new fields, thus avoiding the attendant ecological disruptions. In both maximizing their efficiency and minimizing their environmental impact, water-flooding practices are aided by water-mapping technologies.

When water and steam are forced through the chambers of an oil field, they sometimes emerge in unexpected places— carrying heavy crude. Such unanticipated surface expressions pose serious risks of environmental damage and lost production. By charting the potential flow paths of these floods, and identifying possible surface expressions, water maps help reduce the ecological impact and improve the productivity of flooding practices.

Furthermore, when groundwater has been contaminated, water maps play a critical role in remediation efforts. The greatest challenge in addressing groundwater contamination is gaining an accurate understanding of the complex web of channels and reservoirs which lie hidden below the surface. Remediation teams cannot deal with polluted water flows until they know where they are flowing. Here too, advanced groundwater maps offer critical information to those charged with protecting the environment. After detailing the theoretical science behind this technique, the paper will analyze the environmental implications of a recent deployment in the E&P industry.

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