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Seismic Data Acquisition

Competency Statement:

Select the most favorable seismic acquisition configuration for the area of interest. Select source and receiver array for proposed survey. Evaluate trade-off between 2D and 3D acquisition for the exploration objective.

Learning Objective:

  • Understand the primary principles of seismic survey design.
  • Identify the basic concepts and field operations involved in seismic data acquisition.
  • Contrast differences between 2-D and 3-D acquisition.
  • Describe key elements of marine vs. non-marine acquisition.
  • Evaluate horizontal and vertical seismic resolution.
  • Evaluate practical considerations in survey design.

Assignment Instruction:

You are a member of the geophysics E&P team for Acme Inc.  Your team is presently involved in the seismic data acquisition process in Bass Basin, offshore Australia.

Seismic prospecting is one of the most widespread tools for hydrocarbon exploration based on its ability to describe structurally the area of interest or obtain acoustic (sometimes elastic) response of the rocks and fluids contained within. Seismic acquisition represents more than 80% of the exploration financial investment. Therefore, good survey design is crucial not only for the quality of the image but also for economical reasons.

In this scenario you will design a simple 3D marine seismic survey based on an initial geological description and some basic seismic information. The main parameters for this design are:

  • Areal extent of the survey
  • Line length
  • Migration aperture
  • Line interval
  • Group interval
  • Shot interval
  • Vertical and horizontal resolution

Basin depositional models indicate that probable reservoir sands are within the oil window, giving deep unexplored portions of the Bass basin considerable petroleum potential. The survey objective is to highlight all Paleocene formations through the area with 48 fold coverage near structural traps. For this exercise the complexities of shot interval calculation due to vessel speed and air-gun recovery are not taken into account.

The Assignment Pages should be done sequentially as all answers can be used as input for subsequent questions; take note of all your findings while completing this exercise.