Dense sampling in marine seismic: Efficiency in acquisition without compromising data quality

2018 Honorary Lecturer
South Pacific

Mazin Farouki

PGS Geophysical Advisor, Marine Contract, Asia Pacific
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


The marine seismic industry is constantly striving for greater efficiency in acquiring seismic data: the quicker a survey area can be acquired, the more competitive the cost to the customer. But acquiring large surveys with unconventional spreads can impose limitations on the recorded data, so that certain geophysical requirements for the exploration or development objectives may be compromised. This is especially the case in shallow water areas, where traditionally the width of the streamer spread is restricted in order to image the shallow section.

We will look at some modern acquisition approaches for towed streamer seismic currently offered in the industry; these are very different ideas, but each aims to provide increased cross-line density or improved acquisition efficiency, or indeed, both.

In particular, we will look at the use of multiple sources instead of the conventional dual-source configuration, the use of the cross-line component in multi-sensor recording, an approach based on compressive sensing, and an imaging approach that exploits free surface multiples to provide greater illumination of the near surface. 

For each of these approaches we look at its value proposition and ask how well it stacks up to its promise, and what are, if any, the associated limitations and concerns regarding the resulting “data quality”?


Maz Farouki

Maz Farouki has a BSc degree in physics from Manchester University and more than 40 years of industry experience with seismic contractors, mostly on overseas assignments. He has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Zaire, Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, the United States, Australia, Norway, Singapore and Malaysia, holding technical and management positions in data processing, imaging, and marine geophysics. Most of his tenure has been with two employers: the Seismograph Service Companies from the late 1970s and Petroleum GeoServices (PGS) from the 1990s. For a number of years he specialized in velocity model building and depth imaging at a time when the discipline was in its infancy in the industry. His current position is geophysical advisor for PGS Asia Pacific Marine Contract based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is an active member of SEG and EAGE and has received ‘best paper’ awards at industry regional conferences and workshops.


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