What is Seismic?
Seismology studies energy as it moves through the earth and interacts differently with various types of underground formations. While seismology is best-known for measuring and analyzing earthquakes, it is widely used to help locate underground hydrocarbon reserves.
After geologists identify areas for potential drilling, specialized rigs are used to drill holes. A small source, which generates seismic sound waves—thumps–is then placed in each hole. Once all holes are drilled with sound sources in place, small listening devices called geophones are placed throughout the area to record the sound waves reflected back up from underground. Cables connect the geophones. When the sound sources are triggered, a mobile truck-mounted central recording unit collects the readings from all the geophones.
Recent Developments in seismic technology
Rapid adoption of cluster-based super-computing in the early 2000s unlocked subsurface imaging algorithms that were previously unavailable. These new algorithms, dramatically improved the ability to image below salt, significantly reducing drilling risk.
The collected data is processed using specialized software to to create a clear picture of what lies beneath the earth’s surface. The final product is a 3-D volume or data cube, which may be processed further. When the final data volumes have been processed, they are sent to the geoscientist to begin the interpretation process.
3-D seismic data allows the geoscientist to visualize the images from multiple directions — they are used to determine the depth of the rock formation and whether or not it is productive and help determine where to place wells. The data can help determine the quality of the rock, the depth, and in some cases, predict the porosity. In certain areas the presence of oil or gas can be directly detected.
The Petro River 3-D Seismic Program
Petro River has acquired 3-D seismic data on many of its assets. Where necessary, it is reprocessing this data to optimize its conventional, low risk approach. The company is also “shooting” its own seismic measurements.
Interpreting seismic data is a complex process and can take months to translate. Our multi-disciplinary technical team has decades of experience in 3-D seismic and legacy 2-D as well.