Industry players gather to reduce environmental impact of marine seismic surveys

Shearwater GeoServices and Equinor are extending their collaboration to include Vår Energi and Lundin Energy Norway to accelerate the development and commercialization of sustainable marine vibratory source technology.

Shearwater (Illustration)

The industry project builds on the existing technology cooperation between Shearwater, Equinor and the Norwegian Research Council, with Vår Energi and Lundin Energy Norway now joining and ensuring funding and commitment for the multi-year development.

The aim of the collaboration is to minimize the environmental footprint and enhance quality from seismic data acquisition.

“The joint ambition is to acquire better quality seismic data, faster and with low sound energy by harvesting the untapped potential of marine vibratory sources,” said Massimo Virgilio, CTO of Shearwater GeoServices. “We are investing in this technology as a solution for the energy transition enabling monitoring of carbon storage and efficient exploration and production of energy.”

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According to Shearwater, geophysical subsurface imaging uses sound energy to generate reflections from geological formations below the ocean floor. By selecting only the necessary sound frequencies and emitting gradually over time and space, marine vibroseis potentially allows optimal signal strength and direction towards subsurface targets, enabling surveys to be shorted in duration and with low sound emissions.

“Lundin Energy Norway entered into this project to support the development of a seismic marine vibrator source with a less environmental impact than today’s conventional sources,” said Vidar Danielsen, head of Geophysical Operations at Lundin Energy Norway.

“This technology allows tuning of the signal direction and also the combination of several vibroseis sources to reduce the time a survey takes to acquire, in other words, acquiring a seismic survey faster and more efficiently. The new source may also be used in environmentally restricted areas, where the reduced sound emission levels are favored.”

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