Dominique Gehant
Geomarket Director for Mexico
CGG Veritas

High-End Seismic Technology Continues to Gain Ground

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 16:43

In September 2009, Pemex announced that they had awarded their largest-ever 3D seismic campaign to international geophysical service provider CGGVeritas. The contract specified that CGGVeritas acquire 75,000km2 of 3D seismic data starting in October 2009 and running until 2013. The high-end vessel Alizé, equipped with 12 Sercel Sentinel solid streamers fitted with Nautilus integrated streamer control devices, is towing one of the largest areal receiver arrays deployed in the industry. The Alizé has already acquired several large surveys in the deep oshore delivering highquality data.

Based on the early success of wide-azimuth (WAZ) in the US Gulf of Mexico, Pemex decided to use this technology to target a large prospective area covered at depth by large salt deposits that complicate interpretation of the underlying sediments of interest to the company. “While conventional 3D seismic marine acquisition records a narrower range of the reflected wavefield and therefore provides a more limited illumination of sediments below salt bodies, wide-azimuth technology combined with leading-edge processing capabilities has proved to provide much clearer images,” said Dominique Gehant, CGGVeritas Geomarket Director for Mexico. “Pemex chose one of the largest configurations ever used for their first wide-azimuth survey, deploying two 12 streamer vessels and two source vessels in order to increase both productivity and the range of azimuths recorded. We have just completed what we believe is the largest WAZ survey worldwide to date and the results so far are very encouraging,” says Gehant.

The recent contracts with Pemex have been extremely significant for the development of CGGVeritas’ business in Mexico and have provided the company with a platform for introducing additional new advanced technologies in the future. “As an example we are actively promoting our new BroadSeis technology, a unique broadband marine solution that can emit, record and process six octaves of data, ranging from 2.5-200 Hz, enhancing penetration and illumination below complex overburdens such as subsalt environments which are prevalent in the Gulf of Mexico,” says Gehant. “This technology has been used successfully in dierent parts of the world in various geological settings and we are oering it to Pemex in order to improve imaging in salt-covered areas as well as in areas where resolution is key for reservoir characterization studies.”

In the coming years, CGGVeritas also anticipates new opportunities in seismic monitoring. “The company has a full range of services for permanent monitoring of fields encompassing data acquisition to processing and interpretation, and is also the leader in 4D seismic technology that we have applied successfully for many years in the North Sea and other parts of the world,” Gehant explains. “To my knowledge, Pemex has not yet used 4D technology but is evaluating it for application on existing fields, as well as at the planning stage before the development of new fields, in order to increase long-term productivity.”

Shale gas is another area of opportunity for companies such as CGGVeritas. Mexico has huge potential shale gas reserves, and CGGVeritas can provide significant value to their development by drawing on its proven experience and specific technologies that are successfully being used in similar fields in North America.

Gehant mentiones the opportunities oered by the new integrated service contracts Pemex is oering to the oil industry to develop mature onshore as well as oshore fields under a new business model allowed by the recent Energy Reform. “Two rounds of bids are already out to develop mature fields and Pemex is very keen to see operators extensively using new technology and processes to boost conventional production. We therefore see great opportunities to use our technology for better reservoir characterization of fields as well as to monitor production and enhance productivity.”