ION Geophysical Corporation announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition phase of a multi-client seismic imaging project using its FireFly(R) cableless land acquisition system. The project was completed on time and under budget in a remote, environmentally sensitive area of northwest Colorado by the seismic contractor Geokinetics Inc., which ION selected to acquire the data for the project.
Marty Williams, Geoscience Manager for East Resources Inc., a privately held, independent E&P company and the primary underwriter of the survey, commented, "This was a very challenging acquisition project in terms of the timeline and topography, not to mention our need to minimize the operational footprint in a sensitive area that includes wildlife, numerous ranches, and access restrictions to public lands. In addition, we needed to acquire densely sampled, full-wave data to better characterize a fractured shale reservoir that East Resources plans to re-develop. I've seen some of the early traces, and the seismic data look to be of the highest quality. We couldn't have completed this project without FireFly. Matching a game-changing technology with an experienced contractor provided a unique solution to the operational and imaging challenges we faced on this project."
The survey, named 'Durham Ranch' after one of several ranches in the vicinity, encompassed an area of roughly 30 square miles. More than 6,000 VectorSeis(R) enabled, FireFly stations were deployed on the survey; ultimately, 10,500 receiver points of full-wave seismic data were acquired. Nearly 7,000 dynamite shot points were used as the source, with the time from 'first shot' to last spanning 20 days. On the most productive day, 730 shot points were acquired. Geokinetics, a leading geophysical services company headquartered in Houston, served as the field acquisition contractor, while Green River Energy Resources executed various permitting and shot-hole drilling tasks.
Jim White, Executive Vice President of North American Operations at Geokinetics, commented, "FireFly represents a new approach to land seismic acquisition. After some initial training for our field personnel in how to operate using the different technologies and workflows associated with FireFly, our crews became very comfortable with the system and productivity increased accordingly. This was among the more challenging seismic surveys we've undertaken, and our ability to complete the project within the specified timeline was enhanced by our use of a cableless system such as FireFly."
ION is executing the Durham Ranch project under its Integrated Seismic Solutions (ISS) business model. In an ISS project, ION acts as the overall project manager, coordinating a full-scope of tasks ranging from survey planning to overseeing field acquisition, as well as data processing and reservoir analysis from the imaging experts within its GX Technology (GXT) subsidiary. By using the ISS approach, ION is able to customize the technologies and imaging and operational methods to the unique challenges and objectives of a particular project, whether proprietary or multi-client.
Jim Hollis, Chief Operating Officer of ION Solutions, concluded by saying, "We learned a lot from the initial FireFly field trials for BP and Apache in late 2006 and early 2007. The insights we obtained were incorporated into Version 2.0 of the FireFly system which, from all accounts, performed up to our high expectations and those of our clients. I am delighted that East Resources will have the data they require to optimize reservoir development, and believe both they and other E&P companies that license the data will see what the ION family of companies is able to deliver when called to execute challenging imaging projects like this one. I also want to thank both Green River Energy and especially Geokinetics for all of their efforts and helpful feedback throughout the project. All of the seismic contractors we invited to bid on the acquisition portion of the project, save one, told us that they simply couldn't get it done in the time allotted with conventional, cable-based acquisition technology. Geokinetics stepped up to the challenge, leveraged the FireFly system, and delivered."