Negative gravity anomalies of very local extent and with amplitudes of 1.2 milligals or less have been observed over some known petroleum and natural gas fields in southern California and South Dagestan, U.S.S.R. Field evidence, laboratory measurements, and theory indicate that these anomalies are mainly the result of hydrocarbon pore fluids of densities significantly lower than that of water. Gravity meters already available have the precision necessary to detect some of these anomalies from surface measurements. In addition, a high-precision borehole gravity meter has been developed, by the industrial firm of LaCoste and Romberg, Inc., that can be used in wells with a casing 7 inches or more in diameter and at temperatures below 100?C. Field tests indicate that the prototype attains a precision in wells of ? 0.015 milligal for a single measurement. These observations and the new gravimeter should aid in the search for new petroleum fields and for new reservoirs in known fields that are incompletely explored.
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USGS Numbered Series
Gravimetric effects of petroleum accumulations--A preliminary summary