Episode 203: Solving future challenges for deep exploration

Chao Wang and Stephen Graf discuss the October special section in The Leading Edge on deep exploration.

In the 1920s, the first oil discovery in Seminole, Oklahoma, was made at a depth of approximately 4,000 feet. In 1949, the average depth was 3,600 feet. By 2008, it was 6,000 feet. Currently, the world’s deepest oil well in Russia extends 49,000 feet into the earth’s surface. 

Deep exploration below existing production, complex overburden, or at the limits of geophysical resolution is critical for existing and emerging ventures. To meet these challenges, researchers and geoscientists are actively working to acquire better data and develop innovative methods to improve imaging. And in this episode, guest editors Chao Wang and Stephen Graf highlight the recent advances that improve success and extend capability in challenging deep environments.

Chao and Stephen explain how and why the various geological settings impact deep exploration. They outline if land or marine exploration is easier and which has the greater potential. They explore the role of machine learning and AI for deep exploration and what other technological developments warrant attention. 

Chao and Stephen also share one misconception the public often has about deep exploration and one future development they are most excited about. They also discuss what surprised them across the six papers in this special section and how their different perspectives impact how they see the future of this topic.

Chao Wang is Senior Staff Geophysicist at Oxy. Stephen Graf is a Staff Senior Geophysicist at Oxy.

Seismic Soundoff · 203: Solving future challenges for deep exploration

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Seismic Soundoff explores the depth and usefulness of geophysics for the scientific community and the public. If you want to be the first to know about the next episode, please follow or subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Two of our favorites are Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Zach Bridges created original music for this show. This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at TreasureMint. The SEG podcast team is Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis. 

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