Abstract
Description

Whilst the use of Ocean Bottom Cable (OBC) seismic data in the Arabian Gulf is not new, a field study was undertaken in 2008 offshore the United Arab Emirates to investigate whether the excellent imaging capabilities of the latest generation of OBC systems seen elsewhere in the world would be observed in this geophysically challenging area where the combination of a hard water bottom and shallow water give rise to very significant guided wave noise.

Application

The field study was conducted in July 2008 using the VectorSeis Ocean (VSO) system manufactured by ION Geophysical which uses three-component MEMS accelerometers in place of traditional geophones. The survey was able to be acquired using a single vessel since the VSO system uniquely utilises a stand-alone recording buoy for each 1000 data acquisition channels and thus no recorder vessel is required unlike traditional OBC systems.

Results

Although only a limited volume of 2D data were acquired the quality of the field test data is evidenced by the excellence of the tie to the well over which the test line was acquired. Excellent bandwidth is observed in the data at the ARAB levels and the performance of the acquisition system has allowed advanced state-of-the-art processing algorithms to deliver high resolution images of the sub-surface. These results offer the promise that when the dense spatial sampling and wideband sensor response used in this test are applied for 3D or 4D applications in the survey area superior reservoir delineation and characterisation will be achieved.

Significance

Improved resolution seismic data are needed to increase hydrocarbon recovery from existing reservoirs. This field test demonstrates that the application of the latest seismic technology can deliver the "development quality" data needed for such applications in the Arabian Gulf.

Introduction

Whilst the use of Ocean Bottom Cable (OBC) seismic data in the Arabian Gulf is not new, a field study was undertaken in 2008 offshore the United Arab Emirates to investigate whether the enhanced imaging capabilities of the latest generation of OBC systems seen elsewhere in the world would be observed in this geophysically challenging area where the combination of a hard water bottom and shallow water give rise to very significant guided wave noise.

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