The seismic data Explor owns and licenses is collected in the field through reflection seismology (or seismic reflection), the primary technology used to find oil and gas.
To collect this data, we first deploy and precisely position thousands of ground motion sensors, known as seismometers at pre-determined locations in the field. A small, portable single component geophone that is stomped into the earth and converts vertical ground motion into a small analog electrical signal is the most commonly used seismometer on land. Today, Explor is deploying newer, more sensitive digital sensing units that sense ground motion in three dimensions, providing much better seismic data and new opportunities for sub-surface imaging.
Ground motion is then created either with small explosive charges positioned several metres below the surface of the earth, or with large, heavy vibration equipment coupled with the surface of the earth. The timing and position of these seismic sources must be very accurate - timed to the fraction of a millisecond, with positions accurate to less than a metre.
As the waves of ground motion created by the seismic source travel through the earth, they reflect (and refract) off of sub-surface geological layers. At the boundary between each geological layer, some energy will be reflected and the rest of the energy will continue through the boundary. As these reflected (and refracted) signals are detected by the seismometers at surface, they are transmitted either via cable or wireless transmission to a central recording system that records all of the reflected ground motion detected by all of the sensors at the surface.
By processing these data, a highly detailed image of these sub-surface layers is created. This enables geophysicists, geologists and engineers to interpret and understand the subsurface in a way that is unmatched by any other imaging technology.
Seismic data is critical to oil and gas companies throughout the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves. Oil and gas companies use seismic data from the earliest point in their exploration efforts right through the life of an oil or gas field. Seismic data are used for many different purposes; broad based analysis of the world's prospective hydrocarbon basins, localized exploration of a prospective area, high resolution imaging prior to drilling a well, throughout the drilling process (including pore pressure prediction and micro-fracture analysis), and to enhance production as a field is developed and optimized throughout its productive life.
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