WesternGeco favourite to win 2D work for BHP

Vol 13, PW 9 (08 Oct 09) Exploration & Production

Schlumberger subsidiary WesternGeco is the clear favourite to win a contract from BHP Billiton to shoot up to 10,000-lkm 2D seismic across six deepwater blocks on India’s west coast.

“WesternGeco is expected to get the contract,â€‌ says a source close to the deal. BHP (operator with 26%) and Hyderabad-based GVK Group (74%) won seven deepwater blocks in the NELP-VII licensing round and are looking to shoot seismic for six of the blocks, located offshore Mumbai.

BHP and GVK, we hear, want to hire a seismic contractor that can provide â€کOver/Under’ technology to acquire this data. “All six west coast blocks have basalt rocks,â€‌ explains a source, adding that the consortium believes â€کOver/Under’ technology offers a better image of the geological formations under these basalt rocks than conventional seismic.

WesternGeco is the only contractor in the world that has successfully used this technology, adds a seismic industry source. The â€کOver/Under’ method uses a vertical pair of receivers to separately record the up and down going wave fields while seismic is acquired and gives better imaging than conventional acquisition.

But this method is not patented by WesternGeco, nor are the end-results particularly different from those achieved by technologies offered by PGS and Fugro, we hear. PGS uses a similar technology called GeoStreamer, but has no boats available, which is why it has not been chosen for the survey, according to a source.

WesternGeco successfully launched â€کOver/Under’ technology in late 2006. Geco Topaz was the first boat to use the technology in the North Sea, and we learn that this same boat will be used for the BHP assignment.

Geco Topaz is en route to India from Dubai to carry out a blanket 3D survey at the 1191-sq km NELP-VIII exploration block MB-OSN-2005/2, operated by Adani Welspun.

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