Dynamic seismic solutions overcome traditional challenges

Paul Boughton

The latest seismic survey technologies are helping users to preserve the environment, improve safety and speed up modelling. Eugene McCarthy reports.

Gazprom Neft says it has become the first company in the Russian oil and gas industry to pioneer a new seismic solution that preserves forests from cutting-over.

A pilot project has just been completed in the West Chatylkinsk license block. The results show that 200 hectares of forest - approximately 60,000 trees - could be preserved during seismic surveying by using the new solution.

At the heart of the new technology is the RT System 2 wireless data collection system from Wireless Seismic. Being wireless means there is no need to cut over forest corridors for cable laying (Fig. 1).

The Russian company says that the cable-free system significantly optimises the production cycle, particularly because of the ease and speed of laying sensors in difficult terrains. Another feature is the way it allows real-time monitoring of the received signal and on-site processing. Gazprom Neft says that this prevents deterioration of data quality and the need to repeat some surveys.

Gazprom Neft trialled the system in 2013 during seismic investigations performed at the Shakal block in Iraq. During these investigations, usage of wireless sensors considerably facilitated performance of seismic survey in the mountainous terrain typical for the region, making it possible to mount the equipment in hard-to-reach places. Following the results of this trial, it was decided to apply the technology in Russia. The company trialled the technology on one of its own sites, during a period of very low temperatures typical for the region. This data gathered this way was found to compare very favourably with data gathered by a traditional seismic solution.

"Application of this new method makes it possible to resolve some of our essential problems at this time," noted Gazprom Neft first deputy director general Vadim Yakovlev. "First, a significant increase of the industrial safety level may be achieved since major risks of injury during seismic survey works are related with forestry cutting-over. Second, human impact on the environment may be reduced by means of applying eco-friendly technologies, and duration of works may be decreased, too. The experiments conducted demonstrated good opportunities for further enhancement of seismic surveys efficiency at our oil and gas fields, and we will apply the obtained experience in other projects."

New from CGG is EarthModel Builder, designed to be an affordable modelling solution that is used to improve efficiency, accuracy and flexibility for more realistic representations of the reservoir.

Part of the Jason suite, EarthModel Builder is a novel tool for asset teams and service companies to generate multiple first-pass reservoir models containing rock properties. The company says that organisations of all sizes, from international oil and gas companies to small independents, can use the models to optimise their field development and well planning processes.

The solution comes with a user-friendly interface and dynamic capabilities that together help to create quick models and move projects forward. Extensive quality controls ensure a greater level of accuracy in both conventional and unconventional geological settings.

Integration with CGG's PowerLog solution offers well analysis for even more insight. Petrophysicists and geologists can compute multiple curves and run a variety of modelling scenarios to better understand their reservoirs.

Asset teams and service companies can also use EarthModel Builder to supplement and leverage their current modelling solutions for which they may hold a limited number of licenses. After quality checking and building quick models to assess the information, companies can move the models into their existing technology for reservoir characterisation.

Sophie Zurquiyah, senior executive vice President of CGG's geology, geophysics & reservoir division, said: "With EarthModel Builder, all E&P stakeholders are now able to build the most up-to-date rock property models. This new software offers clients an affordable, exciting and dynamic solution for building and updating models across the life of the field."

In other CGG news, the company has signed an exclusive agreement with Baker Hughes for RoqSCAN technology. This is a real-time, fully portable, quantitative and automated rock properties and mineralogical analyser.

Developed by Robertson, a CGG company, and Carl Zeiss Microscopy, RoqSCAN delivers highly quantitative compositional and textural mineralogical data from drilling cuttings or core pieces, revealing the mineralogical DNA of the reservoir. This service can be provided at the wellsite during drilling operations, or later in core stores, field offices and laboratories.

Baker Hughes will include RoqSCAN in its shale reservoir evaluation services as part of the Shale Science Alliance with CGG. The agreement further strengthens the strategic relationship between the two companies, which is designed to help operators better understand shale plays and predict 'sweet spots' based on the combination of seismic attributes and accurate wellbore measurements.

"RoqSCAN acts as an innovative bridge, delivering important geologic information to our integrated geoscience offering with Baker Hughes and providing a ground truth for our predictive reservoir models. It allows us to properly characterise the geological factors behind sweet spots and optimise the completion design and fracturing to maximise production and reduce costs in these shale play operations," explained Zurquiyah.

The RT System 2is comprised ofthe following components: wireless remote units (WRU); wireless infrastructure to transmit seismic data from the distributed modules to the central repository; a backhaul system to ensure secure data transportation; a central data management, display, storage and control system.

The RT System 2 scalesto tens of thousands of channels.

Seismiccontractors no longer need to sacrifice real-time data return and risk compromising the quality and the security of their data to get access to a high channel-count, cable-less system.

RT System 2 takes advantage of highly-efficient radio technologies, instead of bulky, heavy, unreliable cables and by overcoming the data QC, collection, transcription, and security limitations of 'blind' nodal systems.

TGS expands electromagnetic data coverage in the Barents Sea

TGS and Electromagnetic Geoservices have agreed to further expand the companies' previous cooperation agreement in the Barents Sea. TGS will partner with EMGS to acquire electromagnetic (EM) data over four additional blocks in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea to bring its total joint ownership of multi-client EM data in this area to 21 blocks. In addition the companies will jointly invest in EM data acquisition over 14 new blocks in the south-eastern Barents Sea.

The new 3D EM data will be acquired by the M/V Atlantic Guardian. Data will be available to clients through both EMGS and TGS.

"TGS and EMGS are pleased to expand their cooperation in the Barents Sea," commented Stein Ove Isaksen, senior vice president Eastern Hemisphere for TGS. "We believe that high quality, integrated EM and seismic data will be very valuable for oil companies participating in the 23rd Norwegian licensing round."

TGS has also announced the expansion of multi-client 2D surveys offshore Eastern Canada with plans to acquire more than 30,000km of seismic data, in partnership with PGS, utilising two vessels during the 2014 acquisition season.

TGS says this project will provide valuable data covering expected areas of interest to be released by Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board as part of the new land tenure system announced to the industry on 19 December 2013. This new data will also complement TGS' existing 47,600km of 2D data acquired during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 acquisition seasons in this region. Data processing will be performed by TGS and final data will be available to clients Q3 2015.

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