BP has found a hidden treasure trove of oil in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to a supercomputer that allowed to see beneath a rock formation that stumped oil experts for years.
The oil is believed to amount to about 200 million barrels and contains about $2 billion in recoverable oil. The formation is about 150 miles off the coast of New Orleans, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The imaging technology could save oil companies hundreds of millions of dollars, since they can avoid "false starts" and drill where oil actually is.
Finding a way to get around salt formations has long been a "holy grail" for oil drillers, Ed Hirs, energy fellow at the University of Houston said.
To find oil underwater, companies like BP typically rely on seismic imaging, which would send seismic waves into the ocean and measure how the waves are distorted after bouncing off the rocky floor. But salt doesn't send waves back so much as refract them, leading to what BP geophysicist calls "a bunch of scrambled nonsense," and the companies can either drill randomly to try and find oil or move on.
BP has deemed the new technology such a success, it's ready to use it worldwide. The company was marred by scandal after the massive Deepwater Horizon spill, also in the Gulf of Mexico.
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