Marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) surveying has emerged as a new tool for remotely detecting reservoired hydrocarbons offshore. Industry is now evaluating this technology and the business value of the information that it provides. When integrated carefully with other geoscience information, primarily seismic data, marine CSEM shows promise for adding considerable value in upstream applications, at least in clastic environments. In this article, we review some of the history of CSEM development for the offshore oil and gas industry, show a few examples from recent ExxonMobil surveys, and then look ahead into a possible future for the technology.

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