Emerging technologies

Seismic and exploration - new and emerging technologies

Areas Technologies
  • Low-cost ocean bottom nodes and robotics for installation (CNOOC)
  • Permanent and semi-permanent OBNs for reservoir area surveys (CNOOC) and ocean bottom sources (Total)
  • High-density and ultra high-density OBNs (BP)
  • Vertical seismic profiling, using DAS fibre in logging tools or embedded in wells (Total)
  • Combined use of EM and high-resolution gravity data (experience from other basins, e.g. Norway)
  • Geochemical surveys using AUVs
Imaging and Processing
  • Deep-learning AI for fast pre-stack 3D volume interpretation (Neptune)
  • Machine learning applied to well and seismic data (OGTC)
  • Joint facies and impedance inversion (Tullow, Sumitomo)
  • Discrete fracture network modelling (Hurricane)
Subsurface modelling
  • Sand injectite modelling (JXTG Holdings, Equinor, TAQA)
  • Modelling of tight reservoirs (IOG, CNOOC)
  • Integration of deep-resistivity data sets into reservoir modelling (EnQuest)


Supporting information

Ocean bottom acquisition

Ocean bottom acquisition
  • The use of ocean bottom cables or nodes provides:
    – enhanced detail and data quality
    – broader bandwidth acquisition / full azimuth
  • Total used OBNs on Alwyn North resulting in the sanction of the field life extension drilling programme 
  • BP is using them at Clair Ridge for its baseline survey
  • A reduction in the cost of ocean bottom seismic, and the use of AI to process seismic data efficiently have the potential to unlock significant new opportunities in new exploration and old asset life extensions

Structural modelling

Structural modelling
  • Structural validation can result in better understanding of gross rock volume
  • Many cases where traps are potentially larger than previously thought
  • Fracture modelling can result in better placed wells and higher well productivity
  • UK is home to a number of global leading subsurface consultancies

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