Juan M Santana
EMGS North and South America
View from the Top

Combining Data Sets for More Accuracy

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 14:10

Q: Which distinctive technologies will you implement in your multi-client programs in Mexico?

A: We have integrated seismic and controlled source electromagnetic survey (CSEM) data, and as a result, we are able to deliver reliable solutions to explore leads, rank prospects, and make more informed decisions. The advantages of CSEM surveys lie in their ability to provide information about the subsurface resistivity that, in conjunction with seismic, provides powerful information to explore a variety of scenarios. These include the presence or absence of hydrocarbons, their estimated volumes, characteristics on the seal, lithology differentiators in terms of shale and salt, and salt imaging, among others features.

The 3D CSEM integrated products take interpretation further and provide a competitive advantage by establishing correlations between seismic and CSEM data. By utilizing joint indicators of reservoir properties, one can qualify geophysical data and enhance structural, stratigraphic, and fluid property interpretations for a region or zone of interest. Notably, combining 3D CSEM surveys with seismic data provides the hydrocarbons industry with an additional and independent dataset, which previously could only be obtained with an extremely costly well bore. Moreover, EMGS’s technology allows the hydrocarbons industry to incorporate its measurements over large areas in 3D. This means that, when integrating 3D CSEM techniques with traditional hydrocarbons exploration tools, companies can make a more accurate interpretation of the exploration potential of an area, optimize their portfolio and drilling schedule, and ultimately increase their probability of success.

Q: What have been the main lessons learned from your 3D CSEM multi-year contract with CNH?

A: EMGS will prioritize acquiring CSEM data for the future bidding rounds in Mexico as outlined in the Ministry of Energy’s Five Year Plan. The plan for future licensing rounds in the offshore fields of Mexico aligns well with our plans in the region and the received CNH permits, and we are now actively seeking funding for our projects. We signed a contract with PEMEX in 2010, and subsequently signed a new deal in 2013. This contract, and its extension, is an endorsement of our technology and the value that CSEM delivers in hydrocarbon exploration. Moving forward we will further develop the relationship and support PEMEX in its exploration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. As far as this project’s impact on the Mexican bidding rounds, EMGS has a permit from CNH authorizing the acquisition of up to approximately 88,000km2 of 3D CSEM multi-client data in the Salina del Itsmo Basin. In addition, we have an agreement to reprocess the existing 3D CSEM data in Mexico, as part of a multi-client model.

Q: How would you rate the mechanisms that allow collaborating with CNH, and Mexico’s new multi-client approach to exploration?

A: The process for the multi-client program with the CNH, called ARES B, was relatively straightforward. I admit this was somewhat lengthy, as ASEA and the Ministry of Energy also had to be included, which required separate procedures. However this is understandable, as it was a pioneering project and several doubts had to be allayed by the relevant authorities. We expect the process will become more streamlined, meaning that these kinds of projects will be accelerated in the future. It will be beneficial for CNH to implement mechanisms for the multi-client projects so that they have greater impact in acquiring further knowledge. Moreover, we have made considerable advancements in our multi-client seismic and CSEM integration program, the main objective of which was to reduce exploration uncertainty by contributing the significant added value that CSEM brings to the existent multi-client seismic. In this way, integrated exploration workflow, including the CSEM data is established in conjunction with an exploration company’s technical team.

We consider that the main area of opportunity for exploration companies in subsurface comes in the form of 3D, and because challenges are inherent with this type of technology, integration is vital. Our approach has been, and will continue to be, the combination of 3D CSEM with seismic data, in order to reduce exploration uncertainties and more accurately and efficiently identify, assess, and rank plays in a potentially productive area.