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Broadband solutions improve marine seismic images
The Wiband seismic data processing technology developed by ION Geophysical Corp.'s GX Technology group provides structural and stratigraphic high-resolution images through the use of conventional towed streamers. Additionally, ION has launched the Calypso next-generation redeployable seabed acquisition system, which the company said is designed to operate at twice the depth while delivering twice the operational efficiency of its predecessor system.
According to ION, the new Wiband broadband solution is not deterred by source or receiver notches (or "ghosts") in the frequency spectrum that typically limit image resolution in marine exploration. The technology does not introduce phase distortion and instead improves images by reprocessing legacy or new acquisition data.
The Calypso system leverages tilt-insensitive multi-component VectorSeis digital sensors that provide enhanced broadband seismic data, and it also features buoy-based recording; a rugged design capable of operating in 5 m to 2,000 m (16 ft to 6,562 ft) water depth; and an unlimited number of cables with twice the length (12 km to 24 km or 7 miles to 15 miles), which shortens cycle time and increases production.
ION's WiBand system has been used in 20 2-D and 3-D projects in 15 different basins worldwide. The company's seabed acquisition systems also have been deployed across the globe in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Caspian Sea, Middle East, and offshore Brazil and West Africa.
'New category of seismic' captures 3-D wavefield
WesternGeco has unveiled the IsoMetrix marine isometric seismic technology and IsoMetrix family of marine seismic products, which output isometrically sampled point-receiver data in crossline and inline directions, capturing the returning wavefield in 3-D.
According to the company, the new acquisition technology was developed through a 10-year research and engineering program to provide the most accurate images of the subsurface ever recorded. The IsoMetrix system uses calibrated, multisensory micro-electromechanical sensor technology with sensors measuring both acoustic pressure and vertical and crossline acceleration throughout the frequency range. It also facilitates high-resolution near-surface characterization, well integrity planning, and 4-D repeatability, and measurements are provided as customer deliverables.
In 2011, the company field-tested this "new category of seismic," achieving a 12:1 crossline reconstruction ratio and producing a 6.25-m (20.5-ft) data grid from streamers 75 m (246 ft) apart.
Next-generation streamer reduces cable drag, increases storage capacity
Sercel has expanded its line of marine survey acquisition streamers to include the Sentinel RD next generation of solid streamer. By reducing the model's weight by 15%, cable drag is abated. The diameter of the streamer also has been decreased, thereby augmenting storage capacity aboard marine seismic vessels. The updated solid streamer delivers high-quality data at low frequency, and according to the company, the technology provides a more accurate interpretation of marine geology, with enhanced imaging of deep targets below complex overburdens. In addition to offering improved signal-to-noise ratio, the streamer also is deployable in a wider range of layout options than its previous versions.
The Forum Energy Technologies subsea BOP actuation tool (BOP-AT) has been successfully tested on a live well offshore West Africa in more than 1,000 m (3,000 ft) water depth. The tool closes the BOP remotely via a work-class ROV when the BOP cannot be operated by conventional means. It can be fitted to an ROV skid assembly or directly to the BOP and is reportedly able to actuate most BOPs in less than 45 seconds to seal the affected well bore, delivering more than 300 liters/min of fluid at pressures up to 7,500 psi. Forum's BOP-AT achieves this by using fluids such as seawater, mineral oils, or glycol fluids through the BOP actuation port.
Software advances seismic interpretation workflow
ffA's flagship product, GeoTeric, has been certified on the NVIDIA Maximus technology platform. The company said its new generation of seismic interpretation software can remove weeks from the interpretation workflow by providing simultaneous visualizations on one system.
According to ffA, the GeoTeric seismic interpretation software directly translates geophysical data into geological information while accelerating tasks such as interpretation and extracting from large 3-D seismic datasets. Its high performance is driven by the NVIDIA Maximus technology, which combines the visualization and interactive design capability of Quadro and Tesla GPUs in a single workstation maximizing engineering simulation computation and seismic visualization. Large model visualization can be conducted and GPU-based computations made simultaneously on the interpreter's desktop without the need for multiple systems or performing tasks at different times, the company said.
New drilling tools improve unconventional development
Halliburton has introduced a new tool used in hydraulic fracturing that increases injection pressures in the casing by providing consistent entry hole perforations, improving flow efficiencies by 20%. The company's new drill bit line also provides higher rates of penetration and longer drilling intervals for deeper and longer well bores in unconventional formations.
During hydraulic fracturing, the MaxForce-FRAC charge provides a tight variance of entrance hole diameters in the casing. Large variances in entry hole diameters increase the effects of near-wellbore tortuosity and creates holes that do not contribute to stimulation, which can increase injection pressures and cause suboptimal fluid distribution. By providing consistent diameters in entry hole perforations, pressure distribution and stimulation efficiency is improved and early screen-outs also could potentially be avoided, according to the company. The charge can be used regardless of the gun's azimuthal orientation and clearance and is available for 3 1/ 8 -in. and 3/ 8 -in. gun assemblies that are commonly used in 4½-in. and 5½-in. casings.
The MegaForce tool is an addition to Halliburton's line of advanced fixed cutter drill bits. According to the company, the drilling technology enables higher rates of penetration and longer drilling intervals when drilling unconventional wells. Further, its improved cutting structure and matrix material, multilevel force balancing, hydraulics, and shank length recently have set new field records, delivering more than 20% improvement in drilling penetration rates and drilling between 18% and 31% more footage in several field trials.