James Wallace, Area Geophysicist - Polarcus
Throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oil or gas field seismic acquisition can be repeated a number of times. Within the O&G industry, seismic data enables E&P companies first to identify hydrocarbon reservoirs and then maximize the extraction of them.
During the exploration phase of a new field, a seismic company is contracted to survey the area. This can be started with sparse sampling, with one source and one streamer towed in 2D mode and then with 3D over a targeted area. However, in certain circumstances the decision can be to jump straight to 3D, with multiple sources and streamers, when the uplift outweighs the cost.
Fast forward to later in the life cycle, if successful, the now producing field will need routine monitoring, and this is where the area can be surveyed again – every few years – to assess changes in the sub-surface.