Prospecting for Oil by Resonant Telluric Induction
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(the petrovoltaic method)

Copyrighted © by The Townsend Brown family. All rights reserved.

Telluric electric currents encircling the Earth are regarded as being useful in prospecting for oil and many minerals. Various methods have been developed through the years to detect and identify materials deep in the Earth through which naturally-occurring telluric currents pass. It is believed that fields of oil and mineral deposits of all kinds, by virtue of their different electrical conductivities affect the belt of these earth-bound currents, producing departures which are detectable.

For example, a deposit of iron or other conductive mineral will tend to compress the path of the current, so that it posses largely through the deposit, whereas oil (being an insulator) tends to expand the current around the deposit, producing a "bulge" in the current belt. The change in intensity, caused by the bulge, inductively (and remotely) affects the petrovoltaic sensors in the survey truck making possible an oil "signal". In brief, the presence of oil causes alterations in the deep telluric currents which are carried inductively to the surface and affect the resonant sensors.

Other methods of electric prospecting (in use today) require electrodes in contact with the earth. Such electrodes must be buried or driven into the ground, and this is a time-consuming, expensive disadvantage. The petrovoltaic method does not need or use electrodes. The sensors are about the size of Geiger counters, may be held in the hand, and are readily portable. The method is patentable.

Primary Energy Technology, Ltd. Electrical Prospecting Division Los Angeles, Calif.

September 10, 1985

Primary Energy Technology, Ltd.

Phoenix Geophysics, Inc.

(a joint venture)

A completely new all-electric method of oil exploration is to be introduced to the oil industry. Preparations are being made to form a joint-venture between a high technology (physics research) organization and an established oil exploration company to carry forward the investigation.

The new method makes use of the belt of telluric electric currents which occur in nature and which encircle the crust of the Earth. Such currents are believed to be caused by high-energy components of the Solar wind, trapped by the Earth's magnetic field. They traverse the continents at a depth believed to be approximately that of oil deposits. It is predicted that the presence of oil, due to its lower electrical conductivity, distorts the electric field of the belt and causes resonant inductive effects in the surrounding rocks extending to the surface. Hence, susceptible rocks in the vicinity can sense the presence of oil by inductive resonance even though they may be insulated from the underlying telluric current belt.

The new method makes use of a technology which has come to be known as "petrovoltaic induction". It is the generation of subliminal currents in rocks (and certain other heavy high-K dielectric) even though the rocks may be fully encased (portable) and completely insulated from the Earth. This work has been carried forward by a number of universities, using monitoring stations across the U.S., over a period of about 10 years. Only recently, has the petrovoltaic phenomenon been considered to be associated with the "parent" telluric currents and the possibilities of its use in the exploration of oil.

Is it Valid?:

The question is asked - "What evidence do we have that petrovoltaic sensors can detect the presence of oil?" This, of course, is the question any investor would ask who might be considering investing time or money in the Joint Venture. The answer is, as yet, no solid empirical evidence one way or the other. No tests have ever been conducted which would positively establish a connection. If such a connection were definitely established today, there would be no need for further research and the results then assured, would be worth millions. Unfortunately, this is not the case. would be wonderful if it were. To be able to eliminate all of the uncertainties of exploration would, to say the least, be a boon to the oil industry.

As with the seismic exploration which is in use today, and with sonic and chemical methods, the chances are good (maybe 50-50) but not perfect. That is why no single method can be depended upon. Only confirmation by all available methods is acceptable to the industry, and then only with caution.

All have limitations. The seismic method, the favorite so far, is useless in certain geological structures. The sonic method is limited in range. Chemical methods are far from certain. It is admitted that the seismic, sonic and other methods with their present inaccuracies are being used not because they are proved but because there is nothing better.

The electrical method is gaining favor over the others because of the comparatively recent discovery of the fortunate part played by telluric currents, which are believed to pass through the oil deposits. It follows, because of the high electrical resistance of oil, that the belt of currents would be expanded and intensity diminished. It is reasoned that anything which can measure the intensity of the current, either directly or by resonant induction, can apriori "detect" oil.

Common Background:

The monitoring at nationwide petrovoltaic stations, which has been going on for the last several years, has consistently revealed solar related (diurnal and pulsive) variations, traceable to the Solar Wind. These sudden and distinctive signals are found also in nearby rocks inductively coupled to the underlying telluric currents. One could say that "things equal to the same things - are equal to each other", and that there is now little doubt that the petrovoltaic phenomenon, through resonant induction, directly reveals the intensity of the basic telluric currents.


Even at the start, a sub-section of "PETROPHOENIX" will be engaged in the search for new geothermal reservoirs and the outlining of known fields, such as at Geyser and in the Coachella Valley. The sensing of hotwater, so-called peri-thermal (remote heat) effect in the petrovoltaic phenomenon has long been known in the laboratory, but no field studies have ever been made. It is known that such studies are very much in demand. In Australia, and in the arid countries, immediate contracts could be forthcoming. According to known laboratory (tapes) records, peri-thermal technology is already advanced over that for oil, and this suggests immediate financial return, with oil prospecting coming later.

Mineral Prospecting:

This is in a class by itself. The variety of minerals and the variety of effects upon sensors, undoubtedly make the prospecting for specific minerals complicated and difficult. Unless by some good fortune, resonance peaks exist and stand out as, let us say, with gold or silver, the use of petrovoltaic method may be some time in coming. It is worhh keeping in mind, however.

Offshore Electrical Exploration:

The need to have electrodes (cadmium rods driven into the earth) precludes the use of the present methods of a electric prospecting for offshore fields. The magnetotelluric method MT presently developed by Phoenix Geophysics, Inc., must have 8 electrodes imbedded in the earth to pick up the vestigial telluric currents. Another method in use today requires 32 electrodes. Hence, where electrodes are needed, offshore exploration is impossible.

Resonant Induction not so Limited:

The situation is quite different where the new resonant induction is used. No electrodes are needed whether the survey is run over land or water, One might even run profiles from a motor boat !

The new method, it must be recognized is in a class by itself. There is nothing like it in the science of geophysical exploration today. Instead of having to make electrical contact with the telluric currents directly, the new method makes use of so-called "resonant induction, where the deep telluric currents resonate with endogenous (internal currents) within the ambient rocks, and transfer energy to them by induction. These ambient rocks, acting as receptors or sensors, need not be insitu, but can be small in size insulated from the earth and completely portable. They may be easily carried about in a truck from one site to another and there can be any number of sensors in different channels (like radio stations) to confirm a common background reading. As a further advantage, the truck need not stop to take readings on station, and considerable time can be saved in running profiles in the field.

Oil Prospecting:

Here, after all, we may have the greater profit potential. Anyone engaged in oil exploration will admit, even using all existing methods - seismic, chemical, biochemical sonic or whatever, the actual finding of oil is not a sure bet. The chances are greater, of course, when more than one prospecting method is used, especially if all are used and give confirming results, but, even so, it is never sure. A dry hole costs a lot of money, and that is why, if a dry hole can be avoided, the cost of initial surveys is not important. It seems certain that when it becomes known that the new electric method shows promise, the oil-drilling companies will be "beating on the door." Just the open chance of a new and successful method will be enough. Here, of course, is where quick success depends upon the way the new method is introduced, advertised (if you will), Aand this is where the experience of Phoenix Geophysics, Inc., is so important. Properly announced, with emphasis on the "new technology" success should not be long in coming.

Primary Energy Technology, Ltd.

Phoenix Geophysics, Inc..

(a joint venture)

This coordinated effort will serve a double purpose. It will:

1) Oil the one hand, provide a permanent monitoring station for the various channels of the petrovoltaic spectrum (at least in Denver) and ultimately assist in explaining theoretically what is happening. This is what we hoped could have been done in Texas, but were disappointed.

2) On the other hand, the Joint Venture would take immediate steps to develop the money-making potential of the petrovoltaic phenomenona doing this without first knowing much, if anything, about what it is. We are reminded that Edison did not concern himself to find out what electricity was before he made use of it.

The Joint Venture, therefore, proposes to use what we presently know about the phenomenon to "postulate" a rational connection between existing earth currents and the presence of oil. The postulate will "assume" that a connection exists. As a matter of fact, no one con know, one way or the other, until adequate tests have been conducted over a period of time.

PET cannot do this alone. It must have field facilities and assistance of an established exploration team actually engaged in oil prospecting. Portable petrovoltoic sensors suitable for field use must be designed and built and the results compared with those of other electric prospecting methods in use today. Surveys must be made across known oil fields to obtain quantitative profiles. Only established oil prospecting teams having operational privileges with the major oil companies have such "free" access.

There are, of course, many companies, both here and abroad, with established reputations in electric prospecting. Phoenix Geophysics of Denver is one of those companies and is a recognized leader. A working association with Phoenix would appear to be invaluable if arrangements can be made. Preliminary telephone contact has already taken place with the President of the company, and a plan of friendly collaboration seems possible.

In other words, a joint effort would accomplish a working relationship whereby a base laboratory and field facilities would be made available to PET. Such facilities, it is assumed, would be in Denver or wherever Pheonix performs its laboratory work. The operation of the joint effort would be entirely the responsibility of Phoenix, with PET retaining only minimal functions as necessary.

Laboratory equipment and all sensors, presently in storage on Catalina Island, would be supplied, free of charge, to Phoenix, to assist in getting started. PET would not be called upon to assist in any experimental, production or field costs. Its function would be that of a holding company, for the benefit of the Partners who may wish eventually to acquire fond leases in anticipation of future drilling.

Patents would be applied for by the Foundation as required by Phoenix during development, and Phoenix would be granted exclusive licenses covering their use. The Foundation would pay all patent expenses including filing of application and the payment of foreign annuities.

The Joint-Venture would be maintained on a 50-50 profit basis with PET. As shown on the attached flow chart. Phoenix receives all revenue from services to the oil industry concerning exploration. After legitimate expenses in the field are paid, Phoenix pays PET 50% of the net income. This is in return for the exclusive patent license. PET, in turn, pays 50% of its income to the Foundation for consulting services, which are continually provided to Phoenix.

PET's partners (investors) are at no continuing expense beyond the initial $10,000 to buy the laboratory equipment which it provides gratis to Phoenix to get started. The partners do supply the Foundation $2500/mo. -Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec., 1985, during the time the program is getting underway. It is assumed that beginning in January, 1986, PET has adequate income from Phoenix to take care of these $2500/mo. retainers to the Foundation. TTB and JBB are paid $1500/mo. from the Foundation for their personal consulting and secretarial services.

In summary then, this sets forth the initial steps of the 50-50 Joint Venture. It provides:

1) an established facility for the development and exploration of the petrovoltaic method.

2) a market for the product,

3) a working laboratory,

4) a "home" for all equipment now in dead storage,

5) technical data leading to a better understanding of the petrouoltoic phenomenon, including adequate theory, and

6) the publication of technical papers by both Phoenix and the Foundation.

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