Approximately 60% of offshore oil and gas development expenditures worldwide are invested in existing fields to restore production and extend life of field. Roughly 70% of these offshore fields have surface obstructions that prevent the use of towed streamers to acquire additional seismic data resulting in the need to use ocean bottom nodes and cables.
Recent market studies conducted by Kimberlite Oilfield Research reveal that 54% of offshore operators report that nodal systems offer the greatest potential to improve imaging, reduce risk and drive cost savings for their geoscience operations.
As the use of Full Waveform Inversion increases and becomes effectively a standard technology employed by offshore operators, being able to integrate streamer and ocean bottom node data delivers the highest level of satisfaction among offshore operators.
While the duration of the current market downturn is difficult to predict, past experience reminds us that offshore operators will continue to invest in existing offshore fields to restore production and extend life of field to optimize existing assets and economics. Since approximately 20% of offshore investments in existing fields typically require additional subsurface information such as acquisition of 3D or 4D seismic data, re-processing of existing seismic databases and use of other down-hole measurements to assist with guiding future investment, it is reasonable that the use of nodal systems will increase particularly given the surface obstructions that typically have to be dealt with.
Ocean bottom nodal acquisition also brings the benefit of providing higher quality seismic images versus towed streamer acquisition and allows operators to more easily implement reservoir monitoring programs either through the use of permanent monitoring and/or repeat 3D/4D surveys with greater levels of accuracy. Evidence of these benefits are also observed in the use of multi-client nodal surveys being conducted in key basins today.
Kimberlite will continue to track and monitor the growth of nodal seismic acquisition in the years ahead and report updates.