Between 2005-2014, Ruden Water explored and identified a large submarine aquifer (Kimbiji, Tanzania) containing 5000 km3 of freshwater, enough water for 1M people for 3000 years, solely with the aid of old oil exploration data. Encouraged by these findings, we established a systematic process for the exploration of deep groundwater prospects; the Search Model for Deep Groundwater along Passive Margins. The innovation is the combination of using data acquired during oil exploration surveys and drilling, technology from the oil industry combined with applied hydrogeology.
The systematic approach of the Search Model allows for a thorough interpretation of existing oil exploration and hydrogeological data to discover hidden freshwater resources deeper than 1000 meters and determine their replenish rate to ensure a sustainable extraction.
As per 2020, not a single drop of water from ultra-deep coastal nor submarine aquifers features in the world’s statistics of strategic water reserves. Our endeavors are no doubt a significant contribution towards a global awareness of these prospects. Data deemed worthless, due to a lack of hydrocarbons, can now be repurposed to find deep groundwater and provide a new source of revenue and purpose for the oil & gas industry.
The market potential of the Search Model includes not only developing countries, but also first world countries relying on desalination as a freshwater source. The use of existing oil data together with hydrogeological knowledge allows for quick and thorough assessments of the potential of deep groundwater without having to set up costly and time-consuming exploration projects. Recycling existing data lowers the cost of potential groundwater wells. Deep groundwater is a cost-effective solution for countries or regions that rely on non-secure water sources and has a lower cost compared to current desalination.
The Search Model identifies deep aquifers along passive margins and is applicable to similar settings around the world. Potential markets are Australia, Iraq, Kenya, Yemen, South Africa, South-East Asia and North America to name a few.