A revolution within seabed acquisition and imaging?

In June, ION Geophysical Corporation (ION) announced the completion of all 4Sea™ system components designed to revolutionize the safety, efficiency, quality and turnaround time of seabed data acquisition and imaging.

According to ION, this new generation ocean bottom technology provides an opportunity to drastically improve the economics of today’s expensive ocean bottom surveys, and to expand the number of fields or scope of programs where this imaging technology can be applied.

4Sea consists of a variety of software and hardware components, designed to optimize ocean bottom surveys from initial planning to final processing, and while they can be used individually, ION claims maximum value is achieved when using them all as an integrated system;

  • an ocean bottom command and control system,
  • a software tool that optimizes survey parameters by modelling multiple acquisition scenarios
  • an application that, similar to air traffic control, integrates activities across time and space with operational rules to improve situational awareness, safety and efficiency.
  • an automated back deck, designed to improve the safety and efficiency of seabed surveys by de-manning operations and tripling typical node deployment and retrieval speeds.
  • new sensors which can capture a broader spectrum of frequencies to produce higher resolution images
  • a foil-based alternative to conventional bulky marine diverters for improved source vessel performance, reducing turn times and repair time
  • a QA/QC system establishing an integrated and automated data flow from the sources and receivers, eliminating user-intensive workflows, while providing ship-to-shore diagnostics to ensure data integrity and accelerated data delivery through the subsequent data processing cycle.

“The 4Sea Wheel”. Source: ION

“ION has over a decade of experience developing and deploying ocean bottom systems around the world,” said Chris Usher, ION’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “E&P companies greatly value higher resolution seabed data to optimize reservoir development and production decisions, but the high cost has historically limited its application.  With advances in digitalization, we took a fresh look at what would deliver a step-change in performance to make this technology feasible for broader applications.  We envisioned a modern data-centric approach combined with intelligent software and innovative hardware that could enable smarter planning, improved execution and holistic decision-making across seabed operations.  After extensive development and testing, I’m pleased that 4Sea components are delivering, and often exceeding, target goals to enable our customers to capture benefits spanning improved safety, efficiency, image quality and turnaround time for ocean bottom data.