Entering a new basin such as West Greenland’s Baffin Bay with sparse coverage of geophysical data and no wells provides a series of challenges for planning and executing geophysical operations. In addition, arctic exploration requires special attention to safety, environmental issues and ice management. A key to the success of frontier geophysical operations in Baffin Bay was close integration of all disciplines ranging from regional subsurface studies, through new seismic acquisition and processing.

We present some of the geological and geophysical challenges we have faced operating Maersk Oil’s first block in the Arctic – the 12,000 km2 Block 9 in Baffin Bay, West Greenland. We will cover reprocessing of regional 2D lines, planning of a 1800 km2 seismic survey in arctic waters and the execution of this 3D survey with acquisition and processing lined up to have interpretable cubes three weeks after last shot, and how the field observations were used to design and optimize the full onshore processing flow.

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