Science: Scintillating for Oil

Most geophysical methods of oil-prospecting do not show the oil itself. All they show are underground structures that may or may not contain oil. Often the wells drilled into them reach nothing of value.

Chemical and Engineering News tells about a prospecting system that seems to point to the oil itself. Prospector Hans Lundberg of Toronto surveys an oil-promising territory by flying back & forth across it in an airplane equipped with a scintillometer* to count the low-energy gamma rays coming up from the earth.

The radioactivity varies a good deal, but its intensity is unusually low directly over an. oil or gas...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!