The project aims to evaluate the potential for application of novel and emerging techniques to petroleum hydrocarbon monitoring. Successful application may reduce reliance on ‘end of pipe’ wet chemistry data, and better evaluate the hydrocarbon plume extent as it propagates away from the point of discharge. With advances in sensor technology, and improving economics for delivery methods such as satellites, unmanned aerial and underwater vehicles (UAV / AUV / ROV), monitoring of broader scale spectral signatures is hypothesised to be a more robust approach to managing O&G operations.  Remote data collection has the potential to reduce or eliminate costly and/or high risk field campaigns. Early detection methods can be coupled with dilutions model to evaluate extent of discharge, and demonstrate impact & risks are adequately managed.

The objectives of the research are;
(1) to evaluate the application of sheen and hydrocarbon monitoring sensor technology, to be deployed using various mechanisms (e.g. UAV) to delineate buoyant hydrocarbon discharge plumes based on their ocean surface expression;
(2) to evaluate the reliability of TPH sensors at delineating a plume in 3 dimensions subsea, to be deployed using underwater monitoring mechanism (AUV / ROV / glider)
(3) to evaluate available remote sensing data, and explore post processing techniques to detect, delineate and manage produced water impacts
(4) to evaluate the miniaturisation and commercial viability of fixed instrumentation (camera’s, sheen monitors) to detect and reliably estimate the extent of produced formation water impacts