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Exploration in the post-Macondo world!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Video Presentation

Wireless Onshore Seismic - “Getting it Together”

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Bob Heath

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Talk Description
The notion of acquiring land seismic data without resorting to cables is far from new. For more than three decades, this industry has been giving birth to various technologies to make the task in some sense “more possible”.

However, modern wireless hardware comes from a different gene pool and the offspring is expected to cope in a world needing independent, low weight, nodal, continuous recording capabilities. It must be happy in very awkward environments where cable cannot go, and provide ultra-large numbers of channels to record higher quality data.

There are already about a dozen new era systems vying for attention - though not all have been used in anger and some wonder how many will get past their first post- natal examination. This hardware falls into two broad categories: (A) that which has neither any ability to send data to the recorder nor pick up remote control commands from it, and (B) that which can be remotely controlled, and return some amount of data, ranging from QC/status to the whole seismic record. While (generally speaking) Group A hardware is lower in cost to buy and to use, it now seems that only group B has any chance to see adulthood in large enough numbers to make the drastic changes that the land industry needs.

But there is now a new twist in this story. Whereas cablefree continuous record systems have made new acquisition techniques possible (or at least, more practical) they also exposed the next weakest link of the chain - the source controllers. The role for such equipment, devised in an era when all sources were well behaved and under the strict control of the recording system, has now drastically changed, with vibrators, and even some impulsive land sources, required to operate in what looks like an unrestricted free-for-all.

This paper discusses the necessity of instrumentation “getting it together” such that geophysicists are no longer limited by restrictive equipment, and may indulge their imaginations to devise surveys which suit exploration requirements not hardware limitations.

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