The first quarter drought of new seismic programs has broken with the announcement of many new surveys around the globe. The improving global economy and increasing oil price has encouraged oil companies to return to active exploration.
- US Gulf of Mexico: TGS-NOPEC Geophysical is expanding non-exclusive 3D seismic data in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. The CGG Mistral will gather the 3,100 sq km survey. Veritas Marine Surveys announced the start of their Green Canyon Phase IV, 3D non-exclusive survey. The deepwater survey will cover 168 blocks using 7,200 m streamers.
- Guyana: CGX Energy is shooting a 1,800-km 2D survey over the Corentyne Block in 240 ft water depths. The new survey will detail four prospects, each estimated to hold 500 million bbl of oil.
- Brazil: Western Geophysical announced a 20,000 km multiclient 2D survey over the Santos Basin. The survey is being shot by the Kenda in water depths of 200-3,000 m using dual 8,000-m streamers and will tie existing wells. The data package will include gravity and magnetic data, and both prestack and poststack time migration. Wavetech Geophysical announced a non-exclusive 2D survey offshore northeastern Brazil. The seismic will be gathered over the Foz do Amazonas (Amazon cone) and Barreirinhas Basins using a 5,000-6,000-m streamer. The high-fold, long-offset lines will also record gravity and magnetic data. Email inquiries to[email protected] or check the website: www.wavetechgeo.com. Veritas DGC announced that the R/V Polar Search began a 20,000 km 2D survey in the Santos Basin off Brazil in mid-May. The vessel is acquiring the survey with an 8,000-m, 24-bit streamer and will tie wells in the area. Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) was awarded a $30 million 3D survey for Petrobras. The Ramform Explorer will tow 10 streamers and a single source.
- Angola: PGS began new contracts that will keep two vessels active in the deep water. The Ramform Valiant is collecting data using a 12 streamer by 4,800-m array. The Ramform Viking is gathering seismic with a 12 streamer by 4,500 m array.
- Egypt: British Gas awarded Schlumberger Geco-Prakla a 1,500 sq km 3D survey in the Red Sea. The M/V Mintrop will tow 4,000 m streamers in a 500 m wide spread. Wavetech Geophysical announced a 2,925 km non-exclusive 2D survey over the Nile Delta. The program will gather high-fold, long-offset data using a 5,000 m streamer. (Contact Wavetech at Tel: 303-534-3383 or Fax: 303-534-2922)
- India: ONGC awarded an ocean bottom cable contract to PGS worth $30 million. The new 3D survey is over a field north of Bombay High and will be completed in eight months.
- Vietnam: Geomarine Seismic Ltd has completed a 1,100-km 2D survey for Petrovietnam PSC Supervising Co. This survey and an earlier 2,000 km program were in water depths of up to 600 meters. The GeoMariner 1 collected both surveys.
Three seismic surveys merge into one
CGG Geophysics Canada, a division of Compagnie Generale de Geophysique, will merge three 3D seismic surveys totaling over 1,200 sq km in the White Rose area of Canada's east coast. Oil and Gas Inc. Husky Oil Operations Ltd and its partners Petro-Canada, Norsk Hydro Canada, let the 3D seismic reprocessing contract. CGG will apply proprietary multiple attenuation and imaging methods to the unified dataset.
Three commercial VR centers open
Three new commercial geoscience virtual reality centers have opened recently:
- Continuum Resources Corp (CoRe™) announced the opening of two CoRe VISCenters™, one each in Houston and London. The centers will provide a scalable, multi-sensory environment in which to integrate, collaborate, explore, and interact with data. The CorePlex™ is a large three-screen theater style VR environment which will allow users to see, hear, and manipulate data on a human scale.
Cindy Berlier, Director of Corporate Development, said, "CoRe is the first to offer a truly independent commercial service center facility. We will not only provide our own applications developed specifically for the virtual reality environment, but in addition we will offer industry the "best of breed" in third party applications."
The Houston Center is in the new Energy Tower at 11700 Katy Freeway in Houston, Texas. The London Center is in the Thomas H. Huxley School of Environment, Earth Science and Engineering, at The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.
- Landmark Graphics opened its new Decisionarium™Lab in Houston, Texas. The virtual reality environment can accommodate up to 20 team members using a variety of immersive technologies. According to John Gibson, Executive Vice President, Integrated Products Group, the facility will evolve constantly with new equipment being tried and incorporated due of the rapid pace of technology change. The facility is powered by a SGI Onyx2™ Rack InfiniteReality supercomputer and can be leased in 3, 10, or 20 day increments.
Highlights from this year's American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) convention in San Antonio, Texas include the following:
- Fairfield Industries is reprocessing all of its Gulf of Mexico shelf data using Kirchhoff prestack depth migration. The work began with the Texas shelf in advance of the next MMS lease sale.
- PGS announced the gathering of a 3,100 sq km non-exclusive 3D survey in advance of Togo's 1999 licensing round. The Ramform Valiant shot the survey using eight 4,500 m streamers and tied four wells. The main exploration targets are Cretaceous and Tertiary fans and channels in the deepwater tracts.
- Schlumberger Geco-Prakla's new vessel, the Geco Eagle, is shooting its first 3D survey offshore Brazil for Amerada Hess. The 4,000 sq km survey will cover deepwater blocks BC8 and BS2.
- Pathfinder debuted its line of MWD and LWD services. Several new tools are in development. Pathfinder, formerly Halliburton's MWD/LWD business, was recently bought by W-H Energy Services of Houston, Texas.
- PennPoint, the new competitor to IHS (Petroleum Information/Dwights), debuted its database products. The new company begins with the original Dwight's database, but in a new, more flexible configuration. Well data, production data and a mapping function, PennQuest, allow detailed examination of over 1.3 million wells, mainly in the US.