Broadband seismic acquisition and processing techniques have become widespread and have enhanced our ability to interpret seismic data. We have tended to use the term broadband to mean temporal bandwidth, or relating to vertical resolution, however we feel the time has come to adopt a more extensive meaning for the term. By this we mean broadband should also include spatial bandwidth and to increase the range of wavenumbers (in x, y, and z) over which useful information content contributes to the image volume. Adequate sampling to avoid spatial aliasing of the recorded seismic wavefield means that the data can provide high-resolution images of geological features irrespective of their orientation in the earth.
Modern multimeasurement streamer systems not only allow us to broaden the temporal bandwidth though 3D deghosting but also allow production of data on a fine, evenly sampled, grid providing a broadband product in all 3 dimensions: in-line, cross-line and depth. This fine-scale resolution of the wavefield in all directions translates directly to fine-scale resolution of the geology in all directions, enabling a more accurate representation of the subsurface.
The East Loppa Ridge project
Recently completed projects have enabled us to demonstrate these benefits. One example is the East Loppa project; a 4780 sq km project which was part of a Barents Sea multiclient program. The recent Gohta and Alta discoveries, associated with the prospective Upper Paleozoic carbonates of the Loppa High (Western Barents Sea), have raised interest in exploration in this area among oil and gas companies. However, the Loppa High prospects are not limited only to Upper Paleozoic carbonate hydrocarbon plays, as suggested by initial evaluation. Improved seismic imaging allows easier identification and mapping of important geological features up into the shallower Mesozoic section.
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Written by Anatoly Aseev, Chris Cunnell, Tim Brice