Simultaneous and coded seismic sources: present and upcoming technologies

2017 3Q/4Q Distinguished Lecturer

Raymond Abma

Houston, TX USA


Simultaneous source seismic surveys, using a method referred to as source blending, use more than one seismic source at a time. This technology is part of the progression of seismic surveys to obtain denser sampling and better seismic images. Simultaneous sourcing uses multiple seismic sources, producing seismic signals that overlap with the signals from the other seismic sources.  This increases the efficiency of seismic exploration by decreasing the time between shots, significantly reducing the cost and time needed to acquire a seismic survey. The main challenge to the use of simultaneous sources is the separation of signals from the different sources. This separation is accomplished by using concepts from compressive sensing by way of sparse inversion, a method of getting the simplest answer to the inversion of a matrix equation. While this involves a significant computational expense, the decrease in the acquisition cost is even more substantial.

I will show examples of various BP simultaneous source seismic surveys and share some details about how they were acquired and processed. I also will cover some of the requirements for a successful simultaneous source survey and an analysis of the quality of the seismic data obtained.

Present simultaneous source surveys use the random activation of the shot times as a code to allow shot separation. I will provide some speculation about extending this coding to other possible coding methods.  Among some other advantages, these new types of coded sources allow the extension of simultaneous source survey geometries to more general seismic survey types, in particular, towed-streamer acquisition.



Ray Abma is a senior research geophysicist in the Upstream Technology group in BP.  He received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1995 and was with the Stanford Exploration Project. His thesis was “Least-squares separation of signal and noise using multidimensional filters.” He has worked for Western Geophysical, Shell, ARCO, and now BP. He has spent more than a decade developing simultaneous and coded seismic source technology. In 2012, Ray and his team won the BP Technology Award for the development of marine simultaneous source acquisition. Later in 2012, Ray and the simultaneous source team won the BP Helios award, the highest award within BP, for delivery of the Trinidad simultaneous source ocean-bottom cable survey. This was the first large-scale marine simultaneous source survey, which was considered to be a spectacular success.

Ray’s interests are seismic interpolation and regularization, multiple and noise attenuation, sparse inversion, coded source seismic acquisition, and simultaneous source acquisition. He is a member of SEG, EAGE, GSH, and SIAM.  


Please contact host locations for venues and times.

Date Location Host
23 Aug Golden, CO USA Colorado School of Mines
12 Sep Lafayette, LA USA University of Louisiana at Lafayette Geophysical Society
14 Sep Socorro, NM USA New Mexico Tech
21 Sep Manhattan, KS USA Kansas State University Geophysical Society
4 Oct Midland, TX USA Permian Basin Geophysical Society
6 Oct Austin, TX USA University of Texas at Austin Geophysical Society
10 Oct College Station, TX USA Texas A&M University Geophysical Society
12 Oct Stanford, CA USA Stanford University Geophysical Society
17 Oct Houston, TX USA Geophysical Society of Houston Westside
18 Oct Houston, TX USA Geophysical Society of Houston Downtown
19 Oct Houston, TX USA Geophysical Society of Houston Woodlands
20 Oct Houston, TX USA University of Houston Wavelets
24 Oct Edmonton, AB, Canada University of Alberta Geophysical Society
26 Oct Richardson, TX USA University of Texas at Dallas
30 Oct Houston, TX USA CGG
7 Nov Cambridge, United Kingdom Laboratory for Scientific Computing
8 Nov Sunbury-on-Thames, United Kingdom BP Sunbury
9 Nov Edinburgh, United Kingdom University of Edinburgh Geophysical Society
10 Nov Edinburgh, United Kingdom Heriot-Watt University Geophysical Society
14 Nov Madrid, Spain AGGEP
16 Nov Oslo, Norway Statoil Oslo
16 Nov Oslo, Norway OSEG
19-21 Nov Muscat, Oman SEG workshop
23 Nov Muscat, Oman Petroleum Development Oman
27 Nov Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Dhahran Geoscience Society cancelled
28 Nov Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Emirates Society of Geoscience, Khalifa University
12 Dec Moscow, Russia BP Moscow
14 Dec Moscow, Russia Lomonosov MSU Geophysical Society
15 Dec Moscow, Russia Gubkin University Geophysical Society

Supported by:



This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy. You can disable cookies at any time. Learn More

8801 S. Yale Ave. Suite 500
Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone: 918-497-5500

CONNECT with us

Don't miss a thing.

Visit your SEG Communications Center to update your communications preferences.

Don't have an SEG account? It's free to create one - and you don't have to be an SEG member.

Twitter facebook linkedIn instagram youtube
Featuring bonus content!