April 1, 1999
A 60,000-km 2D survey will be shot offshore Brazil by Schlumberger Geco-Prakla in advance of the ANP licensing round. [25,523 bytes] Core photo of a fluvial conglomerate intercalated between basaltic lava flows in the basement of Elan Bank, a large western salient of the Kerguelen Plateau. The gneiss clasts were the most spectacular and unexpected discovery of the cruise because they demonstrate that part of the plateau is formed of continental crustal rocks. [16,269 bytes]
Victor Schmidt

60,000-km Brazilian survey approved

Schlumberger Geco-Prakla announced that Brazil's Agencia Nacional do Petoleo (ANP) approved a 60,000-km 2D regional seismic survey covering six offshore basins. Two vessels, the Geco Marlin and the Akademik Shatskiy, are being mobilized and a third is being prepared to ensure rapid turnaround of the large survey.

The Santos, Campos, Espirito Santo, Jequitinhonha, Camamu and Almada basins will be covered by the survey. "Schlumberger Geco-Prakla recognizes the urgency expressed by the industry in obtaining high-quality, non-exclusive data in Brazil. We intend to deliver the entire dataset to the market by year-end 1999," said Elijio Serrano, Vice President North and South America. Each vessel will be equipped with an 8,000-meter streamer to provide long offset data to image deep targets and maximize AVO possibilities. Onboard processing combined with processing in Houston will deliver a fully pre-stack time-migrated dataset to clients. Data collection begins this month - April 1999.

Veritas completes Four Corners survey

The completion of Veritas' Four Corners survey in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico brings multi-vessel operations to an end for Veritas. The M/V Pearl Chouest, M/V Cape Romano and M/V Seabulk Veritas are being demobilized and replaced by the SRV Vertias Viking. The Viking is capable of towing more equipment and acquiring more data per pass - all at a lower cost. It will continue to collect data in the Walker Ridge area through June 1999.

Veritas is expanding into the new era with its next vessel, the SRV Veritas Viking II. The vessel currently is being fitted out in Bergen, Norway. The official naming is scheduled for late May with North Sea work to follow in summer 1999.

Chevron "sees" better

A recently acquired 3D multi-component survey in Alba Field, UK North Sea redefined the reservoir and changed plans for the location of future development wells. Mark Sawyer, Chevron's Alba Subsurface Team Leader, explained: "The converted wave data have revealed that, in many areas, the shape of the sand body is much different from previously thought." The 67-sq-km survey was gathered by Schlumberger Geco-Prakla using the Akademik Shatshiy and the Polar Queen. Two 6,000-meter Nessie 4C bottom cables were used to gather 14 swaths over the field.

Reservoir characterization

Michigan Tech (Houghton, Michigan, US) has received a $700,000 grant from the US Department of Energy to devise the best possible way to use high-quality seismic data to determine the value of US oil and gas reservoirs. The project will last three years and focus on reservoir characterization using seismic attributes. The study will include testing at three active US fields representing a variety of rock types, for which core samples, data logs, and seismic data are available.

Dr. Wayne Pennington, Professor of Geophysics, and his colleagues will investigate the physical properties, correlate with measurable reservoir quantities, and test both algorithms and software. "Typically, an oil company might find a certain set of seismic attributes useful in a statistical sense, but not really know the physics that makes them useful," said Pennington. "We plan to investigate those physical properties that allow some attributes to be useful and others not." For more information contact Dr. Wayne Pennington at Tel: 906-487-3573 or Email:[email protected].

Kerguelen Plateau

Ocean Drilling Program Leg 183 has discovered evidence that the Kerguelen Plateau was formed above sea-level. Located in the southern Indian Ocean, the Kerguelen Plateau is one-third the size of Australia and lies in 1,000-2,500 meters water depth.

"We found abundant evidence that much of the Kerguelen LIP (large igneous plateau) formed above sea level," said co-chief Dr. Mike Coffin of the University of Texas Institute of Geophysics. "Wood fragments, seeds, spores, and pollen recovered in 90 million year old sediment of the central Kerguelen Plateau, just southeast of Heard Island, unambiguously indicates that this region was above sea level."

The scientific team has constrained the time period of LIP formation to about 110 million years ago for the southern plateau, 85-95 million years ago for the central plateau and Broken Ridge, while the northern plateau formed 35 million years ago. Australia, India, and Antarctica separated about 130 million years ago. The drill sites found evidence for large-scale explosive vulcanism at the end of LIP formation, while most of the plateau was formed by Hawaiian-style effusive vulcanism.

Knowledge management

It used to be that file-pockets, filing cabinets, and libraries were enough to contain a company's knowledge base. Computer technology has changed that, though not eliminated it. Major investments in database technology and business system software now have management consultants encouraging companies to install "knowledge management systems" to better use and control the massive amount of information that individual projects generate.

Individual geoscientists should consider doing some knowledge management of their own. Boxes of business cards, published papers, reprints of useful articles, old notes and sketches of oil plays, etc. are all part of each geoscientist's unique perspective on the business.

In a time of extreme economic pressure, knowing your particular strengths can be a great aid in preserving and extending your personal career. If/when the budget axe finds your neck, you will be prepared to move to a new situation that is better tuned to your unique abilities, talents and contact set. Start sorting.

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