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Source and receiver to improve resolution – Sercel

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Seismic equipment manufacturer Sercel has technology developments with its land seismic source and recording equipment, which can help build up a higher resolution images of the subsurface.

For the best possible image, you need strong, large bandwidth seismic sources and the lowest noise sensors with the most channels (separate recordings).

For creating seismic waves, Sercel has launched a new vibrator called 'Nomad 90 Neo' which can generate 90,000 lbf peak force and high peak force at low frequencies (62,000lbf at 4.4 Hz, 80,000lbf at 5Hz).

The previous generation Nomad 90 can also generate 90,000 lbf peak force, but the Nomad 90 Neo has a lower centre of gravity and smaller dimensions, for improved manoeuvrability.

There is an 'Intelligent Power Management' system which automatically manages engine speed, which can lead to fuel consumption reductions of up to 15 per cent. Normally vibrators operate at a constant engine RPM, Sercel says.

For recording the seismic, Sercel has launched a digital sensor called 'QuietSeis' which is 3 times less noisy than the previous generation of sensors, Sercel says.

It is much lighter than conventional geophones, Sercel says, at around 1.5kg per channel for a complete system, which all means less crewmembers are needed to deploy it.

Another new piece of equipment is GeoWave® II, a tool for recording seismic data inside oil wells (vertical seismic profiles) at high pressure and temperature. It can work at up to 205 degrees C and 1725 bar.

It has been tested in a geothermal well in Eastern France, acquiring data for 23 hours at 183 degrees C. The tool has seen a full redesign of its electronics.

The company is taking an active interest in using fibre optics for recording in wells, but does not believe that the signal to noise ratio of fibre optics is good enough nowadays for it to replace conventional seismic recording devices in wells.

This is something oil companies have been asking for, for some time, Sercel says, particularly in the US and Middle East.

Sercel is also developing tools to scan the ocean for sea mammals around seismic vessels. Indeed, in some areas, recording could be halted if there were mammals nearby.

The system is commercially available, and numerous field trials are in progress.

Market decline

Sercel expects the seismic equipment market in 2015 to be just $1.1bn in 2015, compared to $2bn in 2013.

Land seismic equipment sales are expected to drop from $1bn to $0.7bn while marine seismic sales will see a much steeper drop from $1bn to $0.4bn, Arnaud Surpas, Executive VP Global Operations with Sercel.

The land seismic equipment sales has been sustained by a demand for equipment for 'supercrews' in the Middle East. The company is currently tendering for 2 contracts, which count for 100,000 channels altogether, he says.

Outside this, the land market is currently very weak, he says.

But the marine seismic equipment market is 'really depressed'.

Associated Companies
» Sercel
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