Robin Ellis
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Sercel Inc.
View from the Top

Technology Provides Edge In Race To Map Subsurface

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 16:00

Q: Why is Sercel the premier seismic acquisition equipment provider to the Mexican market?

A: Our technology has been used almost exclusively in the country for the last 20 years. Although the Mexican onshore arena is one of the most difficult regions in the world to carry out seismic surveys, Sercel’s products meet the challenge. Sercel’s new generation WTU wireless nodes were designed to provide the deployment flexibility needed to meet exactly this type of challenge. Sercel’s varied in-country experience continues to set the company apart. In the north of Mexico in 2015, our equipment was deployed on one of the largest nodal surveys ever undertaken. This involved 42,000 live channels and four fleets of vibrators operating 24 hours a day in slip-sweep mode. Despite the difficulty and the size of the project, the contractor using our equipment finished a month ahead of time.

Q: What new products will Sercel introduce to the market?

A: This year, we have launched two new Vibroseis products. One is called SmartLF and has already been extensively tested in the Middle East. The SmartLF dramatically reduces the level of vibrator signal distortion and it contributes to improving seismic imagery. Another new product is the world’s first Vibrator AutoGuidance system. This product takes partial control of the surveying vehicle to offer improved time efficiency for high-production Vibroseis crews. The Vibrator Auto-Guidance saves seconds on every vibration point (VP), which for a high-production crew carrying out perhaps 20,000 VPs a day offers significant time savings. The system is very cost-effective and is quickly and easily installed in existing vibrator vehicles. Sercel is the only company that offers both of these products. We are also producing downhole seismic tools with fiberoptic technology. Fiber-optic is attractive because of its reduced cost compared to current wireline technology and because the cable’s laser optics can be configured to be the equivalent of thousands of virtual sensors throughout a well. Our SigmaWave, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) fiber can even be deployed in the well in combination with our traditional VSP tools for calibration and comparison.

Q: Will Sercel be targeting product sales for the onshore or offshore arenas in Mexico this year?

A: Although we are focusing on onshore, our marine equipment has also been used for the most complex, multivessel, seismic acquisition projects offshore with great success. Currently, there is an over-capacity in the marine industry so while PEMEX may tender further offshore projects; existing players will likely bid with vessels that may already be equipped with Sercel systems. That said Sercel’s QuietSea PAM system would be an excellent addition to these systems and would be perfect for Mexico’s rich marine environment. It can accurately detect the presence of marine mammals close to seismic operations so that environmental regulations can always be respected. QuietSea is by far the most advanced marine mammal detection system on the market. Our cable-based SeaRay seabed acquisition system has also provided data of unmatched quality for PEMEX in the past and the system’s broadband Electro-Mechanical Sensors (MEMS) continue to provide better signal fidelity than legacy analog sensors. In Shallow Water or Transition Zone (TZ) surveys, sea conditions can be very challenging with high waves and strong currents. X-Tech systems are often better suited for these surveys because pure node-based field equipment can be easily washed away. With this in mind, we have introduced a TZ version of our 508XT system that plugs easily and seamlessly into our standard landbased system.


Sercel Inc. is a major provider of seismic acquisition equipment. The company, which is renowned for its industryleading technology, employs 1,500 personnel across its 13 office locations around the world.