In oil exploration, scientists employ various tools, including satellite imagery and sniffers, to locate the presence of oil. However, magnetometers provide a more accurate idea of where oil and natural gas may be. Because sedimentary rocks are nearly transparent to magnetism, the magnetometer can easily measure the strength of electromagnetic fields. Scientists are particularly looking to identify areas that produce significantly low readings of magnetic force. These regions have a higher likelihood of containing oil.
Magnetometers measure and record data related to the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic surveys are obtained by flying an aircraft equipped with a magnetometer in parallel lines at an elevation of a third of a mile above the Earth’s surface. The device records data that are spaced at one to two miles apart. Based on the aerial readings, ground surveys will follow to more precisely explore for oil there.