SEAM has chosen land seismic challenges as the focus for Phase II after discussion with industry leaders on several potential projects. This focus appears to offer the greatest potential for a multi-company collaborative effort to facilitate technological breakthroughs.
Key enablers that warrant the focus on land challenges are the trend to increasingly high channel counts, continued advances in high-performance computing, increasingly sophisticated interpretation tools that demand properly conditioned data, and the coming-of-age of multi-component recording. Land seismic activity is on the increase around the world.
The Middle East and North African areas continue to be the domain of highly sophisticated 3D acquisition programs. Chinese growth has increased E&P activity for ever more subtle stratigraphic targets in the interior basins. Recent developments in Iraq presage a wave of high-definition 3D surveys, setting the base for 4D efforts to come. The emerging shale resource plays in North America and Europe are driving increased acquisition activity.
SEAM facilitated industry discussions during 2009 and 2010 have identified three core challenge themes that Phase II should focus on:
- High density and areal extensive acquisition geometries
- Near surface complexities
- Fractured reservoir characterization