Gazprom Neft Pioneers Russian Implementation of “Green” Seismic Survey

From Gazprom Neft website

Gazprom Neft became the first company in the Russian oil and gas industry to develop a pilot seismic project to investigate the application of an innovative solution aimed at considerably reducing the area of forestry felled during seismic operations. The new “green” technology was tested during the spring of 2014 over the West-Chatylkinsk license block (developed by Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz) in YNAD. The results of the experiment show that by using this innovative system, human impact on the environment was reduced significantly, in particular, the area of forest that required felling was halved when compared to traditional seismic survey methods. The results of the pilot project, covering an area of 400 sq km, showed that by using the new system, approximately 200 hectares of forest, or around 60,000 trees, were conserved during the program operations.

The “green” seismic survey performance project used the wireless seismic data acquisition system, RT System 2. The absence of cable made it possible to minimize the cutting of access corridors through the forest for the laying of cable that typify geological exploration using traditional cable-based technology. The cable-free system optimizes the production cycle, particularly by quickly locating the wireless sensors on the seismic line, even in severe terrain. Another feature of the system is the real-time monitoring of the signal, enabling immediate analysis of the results to detect any external noise, which may degrade the data quality. In contrast, most of the other cable-free systems available on the market operate as an array of autonomous nodes. This means that after a few days, the operator collects the data and then evaluates its quality. If the data are then found to be outside the contract specifications, portions of the survey may eventually need to be repeated.

The operational efficiency of the new system was noted by Gazprom Neft in 2013 during seismic program performed over the Shakal block in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq. During this survey, the use of the wireless system considerably enhanced the performance of seismic survey in the mountainous terrain typical for the region, making it possible to deploy the equipment in hard-to-reach places. Following the results of that project, it was decided to apply the experience gained to Russian operations, which enabled the start of the implementation of the innovative “green” technology. Testing carried out in 2014 at the Gazprom Neft field in YNAD demonstrated that during the operations, the system was stable, even during a period of low temperatures that are normal in the region at that time of year. The good quality of the geophysical data from the new system was proved when the seismic data acquired by the wireless system and that obtained by traditional means at the same site were compared.

The First Deputy Director General of Gazprom Neft, Vadim Yakovlev, noted: “Performance of geological exploration for reserve discovery and replenishment is one of the major areas of activity for an oil company, and innovative technologies play a special part in execution of this work. Application of this new method makes it possible to resolve some of our fundamental problems at one time. Firstly, a significant increase in the industrial safety level may be achieved, since one of the major risks of injury during seismicsurvey works is related to forest cutting. Secondly, human impact on the environment may be reduced by the application of eco-friendly technologies, coupled with decreasing the duration of the work. The experiment we conducted demonstrated good opportunities for further enhancement of the efficiency of seismic surveys over our oil and gas fields, and we will apply the experience we obtained here to other projects.”