Articles

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September 2016

Technology Collaboration is the Key Element in Frontier Seismic Exploration

Jason Criss

Seismic exploration has long been done in remote, out of the way regions of the globe. However, a definition for frontier area is not a region which is necessarily remote but one that has had limited exploration. This can mean anything from distant jungles to Arctic forests, but a common…

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September 2016

Field Testing Justifying Significant Changes in 3D Design Parameters to Improve Seismic Data and Decrease Costs

Ann O’Byrne, Greg MacNeil and Andrew Kura

Challenging the status quo to optimize 3D acquisition has been a focus of the Foster Creek team since late 2014 when Cenovus initiated a pilot project to decrease the cost of acquiring 3D seismic data. The challenge was to decrease acquisition costs while maintaining data quality and safety standards.

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September 2016

It’s Time to Wake Up!

Doug Pruden

I want to proclaim to the Canadian oil industry that the pity party is now officially over and it is time to get up and get back to work.

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September 2016

How Geophysics Can Generate and Demonstrate More Value During the Development of Mature Unconventional Resource Plays: A Personal Opinion

Rob Holt

The discovery in the early 1990s by George Mitchell and his team at Mitchell Energy of how to profitably exploit the Barnett Shale play fuelled the North American unconventionals revolution, aided by (1) oil and gas price increases; (2) improvements in drilling and completions technologies; (3) readily available capital and…

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June 2016

Improving Seismic Data While Decreasing Costs

Ann O’Byrne

In the latter half of 2013 Cenovus initiated a pilot to decrease the cost of acquiring 3D seismic data while maintaining data quality and safety standards. Monitor 4D’s frequently made use of Vibroseis as an infill. Earlier testing indicated that Vibroseis acquisition could replace future baseline surveys; however investigation and…

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June 2016

Introduction to June Focus: DAS/Borehole Geophysics

Paul Webster

Welcome to this special edition of the RECORDER with a focus on Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) and borehole geophysics. There are four papers on DAS, in particular with application to Vertical Seismic Profiles (VSPs) and one on DAS for microseismic. Since DAS was first used as a downhole optic sensing…

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June 2016

The use of fiber-optic sensing to efficiently acquire vertical seismic profiles

Tim Dean, Theo Cuny, and Arthur Hartog

Conventional vertical seismic profiles (VSPs) are recorded by lowering receivers, usually geophones but increasingly accelerometers, contained within shuttles down a well where they are anchored to the borehole wall using clamps or bowsprings. A seismic source (often located adjacent to the well-head, i.e. at zero-offset) is then activated and data…

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June 2016

Comparing DAS and Geophone Zero-Offset VSP Data Sets Side-By-Side

Mark E. Willis, Cemal Erdemir, Andreas Ellmauthaler, Oscar Barrios, David Barfoot

Zero-offset vertical seismic profile (VSP) data were acquired by both retrievable (wireline) geophones and distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) on cemented-in fiber-optic cable. Side-by-side comparisons of these data sets are shown at several steps in the processing flow to help understand the advantages of each of these data types. Good data…

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June 2016

Simultaneous Acquisition of Distributed Acoustic Sensing VSP with Multi-mode and Single-mode Fiber-optic Cables and 3C-Geophones at the Aquistore CO2 Storage Site

D. E. Miller, T.M. Daley, D. White, B.M. Freifeld, M. Robertson, J. Cocker, M. Craven

A dynamite 3D VSP survey, a Vibrator 2D VSP survey and related calibration surveys at the Aquistore CO2 storage site in Saskatchewan served as a technology test for distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). DAS data was acquired as a vertical seismic profile (VSP) on two codeployed fibers, one single-mode (SM) and one…

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June 2016

Field trials of distributed acoustic sensing for reservoir delineation with VSP

Ge Zhan, Qingsong Li, Jay Nahm, Jan Kommedal and Jon Konkler

A most recent fiber-optic based technology that has been adopted in VSP acquisition is distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), where the fiber-optic cable in the well is the sensor and a typical seismic source is shooting on the surface into the reservoir formation. This technology enables a fiber-optic cable to be…

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June 2016

DAS Microseismic

Paul Webster, Mathieu Molenaar and Colin Perkins

Fiber-Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) applied to microseismic has the potential to significantly change the cost structure and quality of microseismic data acquisition. When a fiber-optic cable is deployed down-hole, it can be used for many purposes: hydraulic fracture monitoring, flow monitoring, VSPs and microseismic. Economies of scale are achieved…

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May 2016

Introduction to May Focus Discovery and Exploration: Asteroids

Alan R. Hildebrand

he last two decades have seen extraordinary advances in diverse research directions such as the Standard Model of particle physics or unravelling the DNA sequences of viruses to primates. However, possibly under-appreciated is that our Solar System is being mapped for the first time in an unprecedented age of discovery…

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May 2016

The Last Alert: A New Battle Front in Asteroid Defense

Aren Heinze

While some discoveries in astronomy rely on light that has crossed the observable universe to reach us, another epochal endeavor is unfolding much closer to our home planet: the cataloging of Solar System objects that could actually hit the Earth.

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May 2016

Big Questions About Our Solar System’s Small Bodies: Asteroids and Comets

A. Mainzer, J. Bauer, R. Cutri, T. Grav, E. Kramer, J. Masiero, C. Nugent, S. Sonnett, E. Wright

In addition to its eight planets circling the Sun, our solar system teems with smaller bodies, asteroids and their more ice-rich cousins, the comets. The dominance of these so-called minor planets in terms of their sheer numbers provokes several seemingly simple questions about them: How many are there, did they…

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May 2016

The Catalina Sky Survey: Exploration leads to discovery, but not always for the discovery that was expected

Steve Larson

The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) is a NASA-funded survey to help quantify the potential hazard of impacts by Near Earth Objects (NEOs). However, the survey images contain many other scientifically useful data.

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May 2016

Influence of Acquisition Geometry on Event Cloud Asymmetry and on b-Value Analysis

Melanie Grob and Mirko van der Baan

The most common setup to monitor microseismic events during hydraulic fracturing experiments includes a single observation well. This type of setup can lead to biases in event detection, location and magnitude computation. We statistically analyse simulated catalogues of events that represent common hydraulic fracturing experiments and especially focus on the…

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May 2016

The Quest Carbon Capture Project

Simon O’Brien

In September 2012, Shell, on behalf of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project venture (Shell Canada Energy, Chevron Canada Limited, Marathon Oil Canada Corporation), announced that it was proceeding to construct the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project near Fort Saskatchewan. Quest is now capturing more than more than one…

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April 2016

The New in Microseismic-based Prediction of Ultimate Stage by Stage SRV Through Engineering

Claudio Virues

Microseismic monitoring has become the approach most often employed to gain an in-situ understanding of the rock’s response during hydraulic fracture stimulations. The utilization of distributed geophone arrays around treatments has provided an opportunity to investigate the way these fractures develop by examining the microseismic events recorded during a stimulation.…

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April 2016

Introduction To April Focus: Engineering Geophysics

Mostafa Naghizadeh

In this issue of the RECORDER, our focus topic is Engineering Geophysics. The methods of geophysical prospecting can be utilized in a variety of engineering applications, providing valuable information to improve the safety and reduce the costs of projects. These applications cover a wide range of environmental, mining, civil, geotechnical,…

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April 2016

Geophysical Applications to Construction Engineering Projects

Alastair McClymont, Paul Bauman, Eric Johnson, and Laurie Pankratow

“Drill, baby, drill!” It’s an often quoted line, made famous by former US Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. For those of us who work in the field of engineering geophysics, the mantra should be “drill sparingly, baby, drill sparingly”. While there is no substitute for direct sampling of the ground, the…