full-wave seismic technology is the next step in the critical task
of finding hydrocarbon reservoirs to meet the energy demands of
the future, says Robert Peebler, CEO of Input/Output Inc. of Houston.
spoke recently in Denver at the 11th annual 3-D Seismic Symposium
sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists. A record
crowd of 580 people attended the program.
As the kickoff
speaker, Peebler spoke on the coming era of digital full-wave seismic,
saying that full-wave imaging already is helping to locate harder-to-find
hydrocarbon reservoirs and increasing productivity in acquiring
and processing seismic data.
of full-wave imaging have seen improved success ratios, increased
production and a reduction in finding and development costs, he
still in the early stages of adoption, digital full-wave is already
proving its value as the cornerstone of the next seismic era,"
Peebler said, noting also that North America is "behind in
applying" the technique when compared to the international
lot of people have told me theres nothing on the horizon as
significant as 3-D seismic technology," he said, "but
these same people also talk of the complexity of the problems they
face that our technology cant handle. It strikes me that this
is a great disconnect."
America, the number of new wells drilled in 2005 is declining by
30 percent, he noted. "We must bring in technology to find
and develop more reservoirs," he said.
look at the global supply and demand and the decline in reservoirs,"
he said. "We have an energy crisis that is not good in the
long-term for any of us.
the industry recently has spent $30 billion in exploration worldwide,
it spends the same amount at repurchasing its stock.
says a lot about what we think of our own confidence," he said.
"Weve gone through the cycle, past the boom. We werent
that efficient in using our technology.
an industry weve become too risk adverse," he continued.
"We arent stepping out like we used to step out. We need
to go forward."
pointed out that $6 trillion needs to be spent on exploration and
production nationally over the next 25 years to meet consumer demand.
time for new technology. We are at the beginning of a new technology
era. Its the full wave era. Were about where 3-D was
in 1986," he said.
In the early
1980s, many people in the industry believed 3-D was a niche technology,
it was too expensive and it wasnt needed, thanks to 2-D potential.
were at the mature end of the curve with 3-D. I like to call
it 3-D on steroids," he said. "We need to increase the
quality of measurement and the content of measurement."
wave is measuring a full wave field, measuring the ground motion,"
he said. "It also measures gravity and the position of the
sensors. At its core is the MEMS-based, three-channel, single point
sensors, which capture broader bandwidth, higher resolution seismic
data and improves productivity.
replace the full geophysical array," he said. "This will
result in enhanced imaging with higher-resolution images of small
anomalies in reservoirs."
a collection of factors to do the imaging work differently including
point sources and point receivers, long offsets and multi-component
receivers, he said.
will ultimately replace analog," he said. "Within five
years, a third of all surveys on land will be full-wave."
will use more technology to be more efficient," he said. "With
digital technology we can use our dollars for better imaging and
that will result in a lot less equipment on the ground."
At the foot
of the digital explosion is the challenge to the entire industrys
infrastructure that operates today.
Peebler said, "it will be replaced.
good news is we have the technology that can help us. The gaming
industry is pursuing IT technology, so we dont have the challenge
(of inventing new technology) that we had in the 1980s. I think
thats a good thing."
said he believes technology will advance on course, but the individual
mindset and approach may slow down the process.
have thought this was a valley of despair and there was no future
for geophysics," he said.
than 5 percent of geoscientists today now have the technical skills
to manage full-wave, he said.
data explosion will challenge processing, interpretation and data
will happen fast.
were at the start of another long growth period due to the
supply and demand," he said, "which begs for new technology
to take us forward."