GEO ExPro

Applauding Progress

Great credit must be given to the many people from both academic and organisational backgrounds who have spent many man-years – and millions of dollars – in continuing to develop these systems. It has often required new and innovative ideas, but also a lot of persistence and basic hard slog.
This article appeared in Vol. 9, No. 5 - 2013

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One of the first quartz seismographs, prototype PQ1, developed in 1931, one of the early advances made by seismic service companies to assist geologists in the search for hydrocarbons. Source: CGGVeritas I am old enough to remember the days of paper black and white seismic records. Head on one side, squinting along the line, trying to identify a possible real horizon among the mass of multiples and noise. And in those days we used colour pencils to delineate our carefully chosen layer – no computers capable of automatically picking a horizon available then! Brings back memories to a number of GEO ExPro readers, I suspect.

So I am constantly amazed and excited by the quality and clarity of the multi-coloured seismic information which is available to geoscientists today, several excellent examples of which can be found within the pages of this magazine. The manifold improvements in both the acquisition and processing techniques are outstanding. Great credit must be given to the many people from both academic and organisational backgrounds who have spent many man-years – and millions of dollars – in continuing to develop these systems. It has often required new and innovative ideas, but also a lot of persistence and basic hard slog.

An example of one of these innovations, WesternGeco’s Isometrix system, is discussed in this edition, and the company admit that it took over ten years of dedicated research and experimentation to develop this idea and prove its viability and commerciality. Also featured are new ways of looking at 3D seismic by borrowing ideas about frequency from remote sensing experts, and a discussion on the use of seismic recording systems deep within the well to acquire high resolution data. All excellent examples of the transference of many years of research into useful tools in the search for hydrocarbons. Few observers outside the industry have an appreciation of the amount of science and engineering research which is undertaken by the service companies in order for the industry to find the oil and gas reserves which the world continues to demand so hungrily.

We should all applaud their efforts and hope that they long persist in developing their thirst for knowledge and improvement.

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