Use of Gravity and Magnetic Methods in Oil and Gas Exploration: Case Studies from Azerbaijan
Vagif Gadirov
Ekrem Kalkan
Adil Özdemir
Yildiray Palabiyik
Kamran Gadirov


Oil and gas exploration
Geophysical exploration
Hydrocarbon deposit


Numerous studies have proved the connection between low-amplitude local anomalies of gravity and magnetic field with oil and gas deposits in both platform and geosynclinal areas. In theoretical and experimental studies, gravity and magnetic prospecting methods for forecasting oil and gas accumulations in various geological structures have been used. They show out that oil and gas deposits located in different oil and gas regions of the world are noted discoveries with geophysical methods, including gravitational and magnetic fields. As a result, new exploration signs have identified the appearance of local gravitational and magnetic minima of various intensities above the productive parts of the structures. It has been established that the first physical and geological prerequisites for using gravimetry and magnetometry to explore hydrocarbon deposits in Azerbaijan are decreases in the density and magnetic susceptibility of rocks in the area of the deposit. Gravity-magnetic studies carried out in the Kura depression show that over the known deposits (Muradkhanly, Jafarly, Tarsdallar, Gazanbulag, Babazanan, Bandovan, etc.), gravitational and magnetic minima of 0.2-0.8 mGal and 20 -30 nT. the Physical and geological properties of the Muradkhanli field have been modeled by studying some of the physical parameters in the Middle Kura depression of Azerbaijan (the changes in the magnetic susceptibility, temperature, and density of rocks in the subvertical zone above and below the reservoir). In this study, the results of gravimetric and magnetometric studies performed for oil and gas deposits on the areas of Arabkubaly, Naftalan, Northern Naftalan, Gedakboz of Azerbaijan are presented. Consequently, the outcomes of experimental and systematic work carried out in the areas of Middle Kura Depression and Lower Kura Depression show the effectiveness of gravity-magnetic methods.



Agulnik, I.M., Zvyagin, E.M., Kolchin, S.A., Mikhailov, I.N., Yakovenko, A.A., 1982. Experience and results of using high-precision gravity prospecting in direct oil prospecting on the example of the Verkh-Tarskoye Maloichskoye field. In the book: Increasing geological efficiency and practical methods of interpreting gravity exploration works: Moscow, VNII Geofiziki (Rotaprint), pp. 58-65 (in Russian).

Aldana, M., Costanzo-Alvarez, V., Bolivar, S., Diaz, M., 2003. Magnetic and mineralogical studies to characterize oil reservoirs in Venezuella. The Leading Edge 22 (6), 526-529.

Bembel, R.M., Megerya, V.M., Bembel, S.R., 2006. Prospecting and exploration of hydrocarbon deposits based on the geosoliton concept of earth degassing. Geology of Oil and Gas 2, 2-8 (in Russian).

Berezkin, V.M., Kirichek, M.A., Kunarev, A.A., 1978. Application of geophysical methods of exploration for direct prospecting of oil and gas fields. Moscow, «Nedra», 223 p. (in Russian).

Berezkin, B.M., Loshchakov, A.I., Nikolaev, M.I., 1982. Application of magnetic prospecting for prospecting oil and gas fields. Applied Geophysics, Moscow, «Nedra», No. 103, pp. 128-136 (in Russian).

Donovan, T.J., Hendricks, J.D., Roberts, A.A., Eliason, P.T., 1984. Low altitude aeromagnetic reconnaissance for petroleum in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Geophysics 49 (8), 1338-1353.

Eke, P.O., Okeke, F.N., 2016. Identification of hydrocarbon regions in Southern Niger Delta Basin of Nigeria from potential field data. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research 5 (11), 96-99.

Emmerton, S., Muxworthy, A.R., Sephton, M.A., 2012. Magnetic characterization of oil sands at Osmington mills and Mupe bay, Wessex Basin. UK Geological Society Special Publication 371 (1), 189-198.

Eppelbaum L.V., Mishne A.R., 2011. Unmanned airborne magnetic and VLF investigations: effective geophysical methodology of the near future. Positioning 2 (3), 112-133.

Fooote R.S., 1992. Use of magnetic field aids oil search. Oil & Gas Journal 90 (18), 137-142.

Foote R.S., 1996. Relationship of near-surface magnetic anomalies to oil and gas producing areas. Book Chapter: D. Schumacher and M.A. Abrams, eds., Hydrocarbon migration and its near surface expression. AAPG Memoir 66, 111-126.

Gadirov, V.G., 1991. Prediction of the Mesozoic volcanic formations Middle Kura depression and their oil and gas potential based on complex geophysical data: Auth. Dis. PhD on geol.-mineral sciences Ph.D., Baku, 22 p.

Gadirov, V.G., 1994. The physical-geological principles of application of gravity and magnetic prospecting in the search of oil and gas deposits. Proceedings of 10th petroleum congress and exhibition of Turkey, Ankara, pр. 197-203.

Gadirov, V.G., 1997. The question of interpreting local gravity and magnetic anomalies in oil and gas fields. Geophysics news in Azerbaijan: Baku, No. 4, pp. 23-24.

Gadirov, V.G., 2009. Results of the application of gravity and magnetic prospecting in forecasting oil and gas deposits in the Kura depression of Azerbaijan. Geophysics, Moscow, No. 2, pp. 51-56 (in Russian).

Gadirov, V.G., 2012. Integration of gravity and magnetic prospecting for the search for oil and gas deposits in the conditions of Azerbaijan. Geophysics, Moscow, No. 6, 73-77 (in Russian).

Gadirov, V.G., 2013. Application of magnetic exploration for oil and gas deposits on the promising areas of Azerbaijan. Geophysical Journal 35 (6), 182-189 (in Russian).

Gadirov, V.G., 2014. Study of the effect of rocks temperature and density on gravity fields over hydrocarbon deposits. Karotazhnik, Tver, No. 4 (238), pp. 45-53 (in Russian).

Gadirov, V.G., Eppelbaum, L.V., 2012. Detailed gravity, magnetics successful in exploring Azerbaijan onshore areas. Oil and Gas Journal 110 (5), 60-73.

Gadirov, V.G., Eppelbaum, L.V., 2015. Density-thermal dependence of sedimentary associations calls to reinterpreting detailed gravity surveys. Annals of Geophysics 58 (3), 1-6. Doi:

Gadirov V.G., Eppelbaum L.V., Kuderavets R.S., Menshov O.I., Gadirov K.V., 2018. Indicative features of local magnetic anomalies from hydrocarbon deposits: examples from Azerbaijan and Ukraine. Acta Geophysica, Polska 66, 1463-1483. Doi:

Geist, E.L., Childs, J.R., Scholl, D.W., 1987. Evolution and petroleum geology of Amlia and Amukta intra-arc summit basins, Aleutian Ridge. Marine and Petroleum Geology 4, 334-352.

Hajizade, F.M., 2003. Geological structure and oil and gas content of the Middle Kura basin of Azerbaijan. Baku, Adiloglu, 380 p.

Karshenbaum, M.A., Veselov, K.E., Gladchenko, L.G., Mikhailov, I.N., 1982. Application of high-precision gravimetric surveys for the purpose of direct search for hydrocarbon deposits on the Kerch Peninsula. Exploration Geophysics: Moscow, «Nedra» 94, 91-96 (in Russian).

Kuderavets, R.S., Maksymchuk, V.Yu., Chobotok I.O., Klymkovych T.A., Tymoschuk V.R., Pyrizhok N.B., 2013. Practice of magnetic surveys over hydrocarbon fields in Carpathian foredeep, Ukraine. Geodynamics 15 (2), 186-188. Doi:

Lyatsky, H.V., Thurston, J.B., Brown, R.J., Lyatsky, V.B., 1992. Hydrocarbon exploration applications of potential field horizontal gradient vector maps. Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Recorder 17 (9), 10-15.

Liu, Q.S., Chan, L., Liu Q., Li H., 2004. Relationship between magnetic anomalies and hydrocarbon microseepage above the Jingbian gas field, Ordos Basin, China. AAPG Bulletin 88 (2), 241-251.

Machel, H.G., Burton E.A., 1991. Causes and spatial distribution of anomalous magnetization in hydrocarbon seepage environments. AAPG Bulletin 75 (12), 1864-1876.

Nikitsky, V.E., Glebovsky, Yu. S., 1990. Magnetic prospecting. Handbook of Geophysics, Moscow, «Nedra», 470 p.

Matolin, M., Abraham, M., Hanak, J., 2008. Geochemical and geophysical anomalies at the Zdanice oil-and gas field, SE Czech Republic. Journal of Petroleum Geology 3 (1), 97-108.

Medovskiy, I.G., Mustafaev, K.A., 1959. On the nature of "blind" zones in seismic exploration in the coastal regions of the Caspian Sea. Geophysical Prospecting for Oil and Gas, Moscow, pp. 31-37 (in Russian).

Medovskiy, I.G., Komarova, G.M., 1959. On the possible nature of local gravitational minima over oil and gas deposits. Geology of Oil and Gas, Moscow, «Nedra» 11, 50-57 (in Russian).

Megerya, V.M., Savin, V.G., Shcherbinina, G.P., Prostolupov, G.V., 2003. Complex geophysical studies of Paleozoic sediments during oil exploration in the Gorely area. Geophysics, Moscow, No. 6, pp. 14-16.

Menshov, A.I., Kuderavets, R.S., Chobotok, I.A., 2014. Study of the magnetic field and magnetic susceptibility of soils in the areas of hydrocarbon production in the Ciscarpathian trough. Geo
Informatics 2014. XIIIth International Conference on Geoinformatics-Theoretical and Applied Aspects. 12-15 May, Kiev, Ukraine.

Mikhailov, I.N., 1982. Development of new principles for the interpretation of gravity prospecting. In the book: Increasing geological efficiency and practical methods of interpreting gravity exploration works: Moscow, VNIIGeofiziki, (Rotaprint), pp. 40-80 (in Russian).

Mudretsova, E.A., Veselov, K.E., 1990. Gravity prospecting. Handbook of Geophysics, Moscow, «Nedra», 607 p.

Nettleton, L.L., 1976. Gravity and Magnetics in Oil Prospecting. McGraw-Hill, 464 p.

Ozdemir, A., Palabiyik, Y., Karataş, A., Sahinoglu, A., 2021a. Mature petroleum hydrocarbons contamination in surface and subsurface waters of Kızılırmak Graben (Central Anatolia, Turkey): Geochemical evidence for a working petroleum system associated with a possible salt diapir. Turkish Journal of Engineering 6 (1), 1-15. Doi: 10.31127/tuje.747379.

Ozdemir, A., Sahinoglu, A., Palabiyik, Y., Karataş, A., 2021b. Reservoir-targeted oil and gas exploration in metamorphic and magmatic rocks of the Niğde Massif (Central Anatolia, Turkey). Journal of Scientific Reports-A (in press).

Ozdemir, A., Karataş, A., Palabiyik, Y., Yaşar, E., Sahinoglu, A., 2020a. Oil and gas exploration in Seferihisar Uplift (Western Turkey) containing an operable-size gold deposit: Geochemical evidence for the presence of a working petroleum system. Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources, 6 (30). Doi:

Ozdemir, A., Palabiyik, Y., Karataş, A., Sahinoglu, A., 2020b. Organic geochemical evidence of the working petroleum system in Beypazarı Neogene Basin and potential traps (Northwest Central Anatolia, Turkey). Turkish Journal of Geosciences 1 (2), 35-52.

Ozdemir, A., Karataş, A., Palabiyik, Y., Sahinoglu, A., 2020c. Reservoir-targeted oil and gas exploration in the Karaburun Peninsula (Western Turkey). International Journal of Energy and Engineering Sciences 5 (2), 115-145.

Parovyshny, V.A., Veselov, O.V., Senachin, V.R., Kirienko, V.S., 2008. Temporal changes in geophysical fields over a gas reservoir (Sakhalin Island). Pacific Ocean Geology 27 (4), 3-15 (in Russian).

Perez-Perez, A., D’Onofrio, L., Bosch, M., Zapata, E., 2011. Association between magnetic susceptibilities and hydrocarbon deposits in the Barinas-Apure Basin, Venezuela. Geophysics 76 (6), 35-41.

Pirson, S.J., 1971. New electric technique can locate gas and oil. World Oil. P.1, Vol. 172 (5), 69-72.

Piskarev, A.L., Tchernyshev, M.Y., 1997. Magnetic and gravity anomaly patterns related to hydrocarbon fields in northern West Siberia. Geophysics 62 (3), 831-841.

Putikov, O.R., Veshev, S.A., Voroshilov, N.A., Alekseev, S.G., Ziyun, Z., and Kasiankova, N.A., 2000. "Jet" scattering halos over oil and gas deposits in heterogeneous rocks. Geophysics, Moscow, No. 1, pp. 52-56 (in Russian).

Roslov, Y.V., Efimova, N.N., Kremlev, A.N, Pavlenkin, A.D., 2009. Seismic signs of fluid flow and associated deposits. Geofizika, Moscow, No. 2, pp. 26-30 (in Russian).

Satyana, A.H., 2015. Subvolcanic hydrocarbon prospectivity of Java: Opportunities and challenges. Proceedings, Indonesian Petroleum Association. Thirty-Ninth Annual Convention & Exhibition, May 2015. IPA15-G-105.

Saunders, D.F., Burson, K.R., Thompson, C.K., 1991. Observed relation of soil magnetic susceptibility and soil gas hydrocarbon analysis to subsurface petroleum accumulations. AAPG Bulletin 75, 389-408.

Saunders, D.F., Burson, K.R., and Thompson, C.K., 1999. Model for hydrocarbon microssepage and related near-surface alterations. AAPG Bulletin 83 (1), 170-185.

Schumacher, D., Abrams, M., 1996. Hydrocarbon migration and its near-surface expression. AAPG Memoir 66, 446 p.

Seifulin, R.S., 1980. Correlation of thermal and magnetic anomalies over hydrocarbon deposits with natural electric fields. Oil and Gas Geology and Geophysics. No. 8. pp. 42-43.

Stephen, O.I., Iduma, U., 2018. Hydrocarbon potential of Nigeria’s Inland Basin: Case study of Afikpo Basin. Journal of Applied Geology and Geophysics 6 (4), 1-24.

Tsimelzon, I.O., 1959. Application of gravimetry for direct exploration of oil and gas. Geology of oil and gas: Moscow, «Nedra», No. 12, pp. 41-46 (in Russian).

Ustinova, V.N., 2002. Hydrocarbon deposits, peculiarities of their manifestation in geophysical fields. Geophysics, Moscow, No. 5, pp. 25-31 (in Russian).
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The authors keep the copyrights of the published materials with them, but the authors are aggee to give an exclusive license to the publisher that transfers all publishing and commercial exploitation rights to the publisher. The puslisher then shares the content published in this journal under CC BY-NC-ND license.