New Zealand's GNS Science Launches iMage Platform for the Seismic Industry

New Zealand's earth, geoscience and isotope research and consultancy services provider GNS Science announced Thursday the launch of its new iMage platform, in part as a response to tough times being felt by the seismic industry in the face of lower oil prices. “We developed the iMage platform to give seismic processors access to the best tools from our GLOBE Claritas seismic processing software in a simple, stand-alone interface” said Chief Operating Officer Guy Maslen.

With the price of oil close to the low-point it reached during the 2009 global financial crisis, the “upstream” (exploration and production) sector of the oil industry is facing trimmed OPEX (operating expense) and CAPEX (capital expenditure) budgets. This is creating an overall need to achieve more with less. As in previous down cycles, it is seismic exploration that is in the vanguard of the need for improved efficiency. 

“Processing centres are expected to deliver better quality results, sometimes on older, lower fidelity datasets. At the same time the processors can’t afford to learn how to use a whole new seismic processing system in order to utilize a specific advanced tool” said Maslen.  

This is where the stand-alone, “plug in and it works” nature of iMage comes in. While GLOBE Claritas users will benefit from a streamlined interface and simpler controls, other processing centres can now easily complement their existing software; extending their capabilities in key areas.

All of the iMage tools use a common engineering framework, designed to scale extremely efficiently across large systems. This approach allows complex, high-fidelity algorithms to make the best possible use of existing hardware.

The first tool available through iMage is called STITCH; an advanced wavefield regularization and interpolation algorithm. The image quality in a seismic survey can be dominated by irregularities in how the seismic wavefield was created or recorded. STITCH scans the seismic dataset, looking for gaps (i.e. missing traces), and then automatically selects the best method for reconstructing the wavefield from surrounding information.

“STITCH was an obvious candidate for iMage” Maslen said, “it can be used to breathe new life into an existing dataset, improving steep dip and high frequency imaging without the need to reshoot the whole survey.”  

Future releases for iMage will include a de-ghosting/broadband solution (called OCTAVE), as well as a fast and “true 3D” SRME - for suppression of complex multiples. Each component will be licensed separately.


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