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WesternGeco banks on improved seismic acquisition and imaging technologies to support operators in leasing programs.
The step-change in data quality and integrity provided by new acquisition and imaging technologies coincides with a significant increase in tendering activity, said Carel Hooykaas, president, WesternGeco.
The world supply of seismic vessels is now getting in better balance with demand, helping service companies to realize a more appropriate share of the value that high-quality imaging creates for the clients.
“This is an exciting time to rejoin WesternGeco,” Hooykaas told Hart Energy E&P. “We are at the start of some great new opportunities in the land seismic business, which has been quite tough recently. The lease/sale model we have developed is an elegant way to support our UniQ high-channel-count, point-receiver acquisition system.”
Having worked around the world and in other parts of the exploration and development business, Hooykaas does not doubt the value of the Schlumberger commitment to differentiation through leading-edge technology. The development of IsoMetrix technology was a 10-year project, and it was the biggest single investment in research and development (R&D) ever made by Schlumberger -- a company that invested more than $1 billion in R&D in 2011 alone.
Hooykaas is adamant that seismic services should never be a commodity, and he is confident that customers have no problem sharing its value, not least because it is in everyone’s interest to maintain a healthy seismic industry.
“There is a market for broadband solutions,” Hooykaas said, “which is why we are offering ObliQ for exploration quality and DISCover for reservoir quality broadband data.”
IsoMetrix is a completely new class of seismic data, and it will take some time for WesternGeco and its customers to build experience and develop all the new things that can be done with this new technology to leverage its full potential.
The IsoMetrix technology is much more than a new streamer, he explained. An R&D program in data processing and imaging ran concurrently with development of the acquisition technology, and the benefits are already being seen.
“The WesternGeco GeoSolutions is focused on getting the most out of seismic data to best support customer decisions,” Hooykaas noted. “Processes such as full waveform inversion are leveraging the benefits of advanced acquisition techniques such as dual-coil shooting, contributing to improvements in our ability to illuminate the subsurface and create reliable 3D models.”
The WesternGeco GeoSolutions group works closely with colleagues in other Schlumberger segments, particularly the Data and Consulting Services Group, which has special expertise in E&P reservoir characterization, interpretation, multidisciplinary reservoir and production solutions, geomechanics studies, rapid evaluations, and field development planning.
The Petrel E&P software platform provides another opportunity for WesternGeco services to be part of a fully integrated workflow. Several seismic imaging modules are already available as Petrel plug-ins, and the platform is routinely used to show multiclient data.
Hooykaas pointed out that there is a long way to go before seamless, “field-tape-to-simulation” becomes a reality, but said a clear path has been established to move towards that goal.
WesternGeco is following a long-term plan to continuously improve its fleet, and it has recently signed up a second Amazon-class vessel. Rather than attach a seismic platform to an existing hull, these vessels have been engineered from the ground up as a new proprietary designed seismic acquisition platform that is very efficient and quiet when towing seismic equipment at around 5.0 knots. Both new vessels are scheduled to start service in 2014.