Valente Ricoy
Exploration Advisor and Mexico Team Leader
View from the Top

Reducing Exploration Risk by Integrating EM and Seismic Data

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:53

Q: What distinguishes EMGS’ value proposition from competing seismic solutions?

A: EMGS is the leader in the acquisition, processing and interpretation of high-quality marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) data. In the current operating environment, reducing risk and making decisions with more certainty is the key to success. Seismic data is a standard exploration tool in our industry for a reason and EMGS helps to qualify and quantify leads. Determining if a lead is charged or has a compromised seal, and estimating volumes are three specific ways clients receive value from our integrated interpretation of seismic and EM data. In a frontier area, companies want to drill the best prospects first and avoid dry holes. Using EM with seismic data allows for a far greater probability of economic success than by using seismic alone. With the introduction of 3D wide azimuth surveys and improved depth penetration, signal-to-noise ratios, data quality, and inversion capabilities, we are able to provide an accurate representation of subsurface resistivity safely, accurately, and reasonably. Furthermore, our seismic operations allow contractors to comply with stringent environmental regulations. EM data is an environmentally benign acquisition technology, which is considered safe and effective for the environment and marine life.

Q: Which role did EMGS’ solutions play in major exploration achievements in Mexico in recent years?

A: EMGS has aided in the exploration of deepwater prospects. It has helped to enhance the geological understanding with special emphasis on providing information on the probability of success of exploration prospects. Our CSEM technology can assess the hydrocarbon saturation and probable economic resources of any given area. This assessment gains confidence with the integration of other data, especially seismic. Furthermore, we have harnessed the biggest innovations to hit the Mexican market, such as 3D wide azimuth surveys and workflow integration. These improvements enable clients to make more accurate assessments of leads, and enables them to approach high-grade prospects with an improved probability of success and disqualify leads that could have wasted valuable time and potentially resulted in the drilling of non-commercial wells.

Q: On which challenges in data acquisition is EMGS currently focusing its R&D activities?

A: EMGS has several R&D projects underway to improve our equipment, to make our software more advanced, and to change how the data is used by our clients. An example of our efforts can be seen in the SeisMAX™ multi-client program we have planned in Mexico. SeisMAX takes integrated interpretation further by establishing correlations between seismic and CSEM data. Utilizing joint indicators of reservoir properties helps to qualify geophysical data and enhance structural, stratigraphic and fluid property interpretations for a region or zone of interest.

Q: How do you expect the Energy Reform to impact the demand for exploration technology and surveys in the Mexican market?

A: EMGS foresees that there will be a great demand for CSEM technology. We also anticipate a great synergy with seismic providers, with the aim of providing a more robust dataset which will result in an enhanced and more efficient exploration cycle. SeisMAX is a new and interesting multiclient solution. The data is not only multi-client as it can also be 2D and/or 3D and can be integrated with our 3D EM data. Therefore, EMGS foresees being able to work with seismic data coming from any company. We are able to bring together existing data and combine it with our independent measurements to add value and significantly reduce costs for our clients 

Our demand outlook for Mexico is strong, especially as the current economic environment has impacted worldwide exploration activities in most areas other than Mexico. This makes the oil and gas industry very excited about the impact of the Energy Reform, with new frontier basins opening up for exploration. There is a great deal of 2D seismic data being acquired and that trend will continue moving toward 3D seismic. EMGS is in the unique position to add value to this data because resistivity is an independent and complementary data source. The integration of datasets using the SeisMAX work-flow will enable the market to rapidly and reliably explore leads, rank prospects, make better decisions, and drill wells with increased chances of success.