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Arctic bacteria may point to oil deposits

The discovery of heat-loving bacteria in cold Arctic Ocean sediments could lead to development of a tool to help explorers detect oil and gas riches under the ocean’s floor, according to a Calgary-educated scientist.

But University of Calgary graduate Casey Hubert admits the application, while promising, is theoretical at the moment.

“Would it replace seismic (testing)? Pretty unlikely,” said Hubert, 32, reached by phone in England.

“But if the seismic matched with other things (the oil companies) are doing, and also matched with a high level of thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria, that might be helpful to them to make a decision on spending millions of dollars drilling the next exploration well here, or a bit farther this way or that way.”

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