The application of passive seismic technologies is continuously expanding, both functionally and geographically, thanks to the many advantages they have over conventional active seismic and other technologies currently used for similar tasks. Passive seismic technologies are more environmentally friendly and in many cases are cheaper and simpler to run whilst being capable of reaching places where other technologies would grind to a halt.
The two passive seismic technologies in TenzorGEO’s arsenal are Low Frequency Seismic (LFS) and Full Waveform Location (FWL) methods. As with many other technologies, the scientific foundations for both technologies can be traced to international academic research teams.
For TenzorGEO, it all started at the Russian Academy of Sciences, namely at the Institute of Physics of the Earth, a leading centre in passive seismology research during the Cold War, whose work was mainly driven by the political and military agenda of the day. In the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Government ceased its support and funding of the sciences and most academic institutions started attempts to commercialise their works. A group of scientists from the Institute of Physics of the Earth attempted to commercialise low frequency seismic studies to locate hydrocarbon reservoirs. It was a very challenging task, as there were no libraries of data to play with, no supercomputers to perform complex calculations, but more importantly, the oil and gas sector had no understanding or faith in the technology and subsequently there was no demand for it.
By the time the first commercial passive seismic technology came to the market in the early 1990s, conventional active seismic has already become the dominant method for hydrocarbons exploration and appraisal. Prevailing beliefs were based on the subsurface ray theory in optical geometry narrative. The mainstream idea that shorter waves (higher frequencies) were more informative, and high oil prices put pressure on most players to continue using tried and tested methods, instead of exploring an innovative but unfamiliar passive seismic technology.
Finally, in the early 2000s, LFS technology found support from the Russian supermajor, TatNeft, which allowed its developers to accumulate the field data from the growing base of clients. Slowly but surely, the technology gained traction and market acclaim in Russia and neighbouring countries, due to its very high success rate, ease of application and moderate cost.
Over the years, as experience of the team grew, and more data was collected from the field, it was decided to extend the application of the passive seismic to monitoring of microseismic events, either induced or naturally occurring, and the Full Waveform Location technology was brought to the market. Both technologies were successfully deployed in hundreds of onshore projects, and in 2018 TenzorGEO decided to extend their application to offshore sector worldwide.
Whilst both of TenzorGEO’s passive seismic technologies deliver high success rate, ease of application and moderate cost benefits to our customers, the methods are very different in nature and address a wide range of tasks in a range of industries. Please click below to learn more about our technologies in more detail.
DR ROY BITRUS, PHD
DIRECTOR OF SALES