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Total 3D seismic onshore - a disruptive transition!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Video Presentation

Future-seismic: how universal hardware will improve our ability to find oil

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Bob Heath

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Talk Description
If one were to judge the science of geophysics by its demonstrated ability to keep the planet topped up with new hydrocarbon reserves, then it would receive high marks and rank as one of the most successful practical branches of science known to man. However, in terms of reflection seismology at least, if one were to examine the field by how intelligently it has used the wide array of technologies that has been at its disposal for the last few decades, then it would receive a “could do better”. The exciting news is that there are signs that it is indeed now getting round to doing better and will do even better in the future.

Whereas, previously, technologies tended to be classified in well-defined compartments of operational capability with little overlap, the modern era sees that more flexibility is both necessary and possible. Thus, old hardware which previously was good just for one of two types of operation is now being replaced by products which can be used over a spectrum of requirements. Ever more new systems are being given a chance to prove their worth, and there are no signs that the industry will revert to its narrow and semi-monopolist ways.

One area which helped get this era into full swing was the realisation that large numbers of independent sources operating under some form of smart programmable rule based control could give improvements in productivity and data quality not dreamed of before. The next logical step was to give similar independence to recording channels as well, so as not to be restricted by cable, forced geometry or minimal functionality. This not only started to make active acquisition more efficient but also allowed the newer but rapidly growing markets for passive and microseismic monitoring to benefit from advances in other areas of instrumentation.

All such inter-linking technologies are part of what is being called "future-seismic". It is an approach where solving problems of geophysical acquisition is now far less restricted by the weakness of some single subsystem. But even more, it is where items of new versatile hardware can be used for tasks which were not even thought of at the time of their design.

If we actively learn how to embrace these less restrictive technologies, it may be that at some time in the future, the industry will come to consider this period as a true Renaissance in exploration; the point when the generation of novel ideas and products was at its zenith. Geophysicists will no longer be limited by hardware, just their imaginations.

This opening talk investigates the technologies that got us this far, and those likely to take us much further.

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Other talks from the same event

David Bamford - New Eyes Exploration
Welcome & Introduction
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Sandeep Gulati - Vialogy
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Denis Mougenot - Chief Geophysicist Sercel
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Jean-Jacques Postel - Senior Vice President CGGVeritas
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