High-Resolution Seismic for Eastern Siberia Gazprom Neft Pioneers UniQ Technology in the Chonsky Project

By Elena Zhuk, April 18, 2014

According to the contract over this period, the company is to use its high-resolution seismic tools to survey 1,125 square kilometers of the licensed area. The effort marks the first-ever application of UniQ high-resolution seismic technology in Russia. This is also the first time 3D seismic will be performed at Vakunaisky and Tympuchikansky blocks.

GEOTEK Holding’s choice to use UniQ at the two neighboring fields was based on a combination of factors that limited the possibility of determining the spots for well construction. The influence of trap magmatism, which is characteristic of the entire region, is exacerbated by the specific property of the blocks and adjacent territories, a complex block structure with large vertical and lateral variability of facies composition and reservoir features.

“We looked at what’s available in the market and realized that there is virtually nothing except UniQ to solve our geological problems in a full-blown, integrated business proposal,” explains Alexei Vashkevich, head of the Resource Base and Exploration Directorate at Gazprom Neft.

“UniQ technology is highly productive and optimized to work with massive data feeds,” says Rustam Rakhmatulin, GEOTEK Holding’s senior vice president, sales and marketing. “Optimum signal reception requires high precision sensors and great speed of captured data transfer via optical fiber cable. UniQ optimizes all of this, virtually on the edge of human capability,” he adds.

In the first field season, UniQ mapped out 350 square kilometers of Tympuchikanskoye and Vakunaiskoye fields using 3D seismic. But even more important than the covered ground is the availability of a 16 times larger data feed compared to conventional methods, experts say. After all, the key features that distinguish UniQ from other technologies used in recent years are precisely the increased density of data collection sensors. During the December-April field season, the speed of data feed is as important as its quantity and quality.

“UniQ technology ensured data and source position density at Tympuchikanskoye and Vakunaiskoye fields at 400 points per square kilometer. Even compared to the best methods of survey of underground layers, like those used at the Ignalinskoye field, with a density of 100 geophones and 100 shot points per square kilometer, here we register 16 times more data within the same environment,” says Votsalevsky. “Accordingly, during the subsequent modelling we’re able to highlight much finer details and get a much more reliable picture of the underground layers. The next step is data interpretation – we can build a model of the underground structure that will ensure minimal errors and emergencies in drilling deep wells,” he adds. 

Striving for More

GEOTEK Holding is still processing and interpreting last season’s field data gathered by UniQ sensors and it even enlisted the help of Schlumberger specialists as gigantic amounts of collected data require massive computing resources, while the high level of detail demands more careful interpretation in order to highlight the data that is of particular interest to the operator. Meanwhile, GEOTEK Holding field teams are gearing up for the new season – this year, they need to