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The detection of oil spill is very important for the oil exploration. Remote sensing technology is one of the methods to detect the potential oil basin, especially in a large region. High resolution satellite images can be used as an approach of early oil exploration because its visualized, continuous and macroscopical characteristics. In this paper, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data were used to detect the possible oil regions in the Yinggehai area of Hainan Province, China from thermal anomaly including sea surface temperature and apparent thermal inertia. By comparing with the drilling materials, our results show that the area with oil spill has a lower temperature and higher thermal inertia values than the surrounding areas. It indicates that our derived sea surface temperature and apparent thermal inertia anomaly just reflect the above mentioned status and the method can be used to detect the potential oil basin.