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Implementing Technology with Efficiency: A Case History of 3D Seismic in Egypt


 David J Monk1, John Bedingfield2, Ashraf Orabi2, Brian Boutte3

(1) Apache Corporation, Houston, TX (2) Apache Egypt Company, Maadi, Egypt (3) Khalda Apache Company, Maadi, Egypt

 In 2000, Apache became involved in what subsequently became one of the largest 3D land surveys ever to have been shot in Egypt (close to 5000 sq km of data will be finally processed). By performing an evaluation of the traditional methods of seismic acquisition which had been implemented at the beginning of the survey, and making fundamental design changes, it proved possible to improve the seismic data, and acquisition in all ways: Data Quality through higher fold and better noise attenuation; Longer offsets; Broader Azimuth distribution and of equal importance, better efficiency of acquisition. For such a large survey, small improvements in efficiency can have a large impact on the total cost of the survey.

In this paper we will review the changes that were made from the traditional approach that was initially implemented, and show examples of the improvements. By reviewing the ideas that were implemented to change the fundamental philosophy for shooting data, we will show how balancing the various aspects of work on a seismic crew can lead to better overall efficiency, in this case increasing the average acquisition area per day by 40%. Additionally, an examination of the azimuth distribution in the data shows why better azimuth distribution can (and did) lead to more noise attenuation.