Seismic and exploration

Seismic and exploration technologies fulfil a range of operators’ objectives, in particular they:

  • allow for exploration in frontier areas and deeper/ more complex prospects
  • de-risk more complex discoveries for their cost effective development
  • extend/optimise hydrocarbon recovery from legacy fields

Leading operators are directly involved in the development of technologies for seismic and exploration, often considering this a source of competitive advantage

Industry insights

  • Combining high-resolution 3D broadband and the latest inversion techniques enables to better illuminate and de-risk UKCS targets (e.g. Pre-Zechstein, and injectites)
  • Ocean bottom nodes are useful for sub-basalt imaging and near-infrastructure shoots (e.g. 4D), however this technology is still expensive
  • Majority of these technologies are provided by the supply chain and the primary drive should be to ensure a more widespread usage of what is available
  • Key areas of technology developments aim at reducing the cost and footprint of survey equipment (low cost, and permanent ocean bottom acquisition
  • In addition, Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to deliver a significant reduction in seismic analysis cycle-time (potentially allowing real-time, simultaneous modelling)
  • Combination of different types of surveys to improve subsurface imaging is not widespread on the UKCS, and this may be an opportunity further enabled by AI

Technology categories

tech seismic

Technology maturity

seismic graph
  • 3D broadband
  • Wide and multi-azimuth
  • Ocean-bottom acquisition
  • Latest inversion techniques
  • Time-lapse (4D) seismic
  • Low-cost OBNs, permanent and sea bottom sources
  • Artificial intelligence for (real-time) processing
  • Advanced interpretation integrating rock-physics and multiple surveys