This document is an expanded abstract.
What if we could unlock exploration acreage in hard-to-access onshore areas thanks to drones, airships and biodegradable seismic sensors? What if we could image and monitor reservoirs with high definition, high quality 3D seismic, with hundreds of thousands of sensors deployed in a few weeks only? What if we could get a real-time image of the subsurface, while still acquiring the seismic data in the field? The first pilot of the METIS1 system successfully acquired in Papua-New-Guinea late 2017 paves the way for this science-fiction scenario to actually become a reality.
Whilst the first decade of the 2000s marked the rise and pre-eminence of costly deepwater projects, the low oil price context experienced by the Oil & Gas industry in the past few years has rejuvenated the interest for more conventional prospects which can bring materiality at lower breakevens.
Indeed, a significant amount of hydrocarbon resources is believed to be located in hard-to-access areas, like foothills, which are challenging to image with conventional seismic methods, and are thus underexplored. In foothills areas, logistics are so costly that sparse acquisition designs were abundantly used to decrease costs, very often unfortunately at the expense of quality, which eventually resulted in false economy.
In the meantime, new technologies have emerged, and have opened new horizons and innovative ways to rethink geophysical acquisition: IoT, drones or artificial intelligence are only a few examples of these innovations which are today part of our daily lives.