MASS — taking OBN acquisition to new heights
Ocean bottom seismic (OBS) has been gaining market share over high-end streamer acquisition and more operators are turning to nodes to address long-standing challenges in seismic imaging. Novel cost-effective systems that provide step-changing efficiencies on the receiver side show that OBS acquisition is on the path to equal productivity with high-end towed marine acquisition. One such technology is Magseis’ Marine Autonomous Seismic System (MASS). Until recently, 90% of the seismic acquired for the oil and gas industry has been through traditional streamer surveys. Only 10% was obtained through Ocean Bottom Seismic (OBS), which has been struggling with inefficient technologies, static acquisitions and limited marketplace, all leading to higher cost, which historically has been the greatest barrier to a wider adaptation of the technology. In contrast, the quality of OBS data in comparison to other seismic technologies are undisputed, and demand for full azimuth seismic is increasing, owing to its improved imaging in areas with reservoir complexity, gas clouds, in pre- and sub-salt basins and for infrastructure and monitoring purposes. With major technological enhancements now being developed to overcome the traditional barriers, OBS is slowly gaining market share. Since late 2013 Magseis has operated its MASS technology on 12 projects. The first survey was acquired with 75 km of cable and 3000 nodes on the Snøhvit and Albatross fields in the Barents Sea in very rough weather conditions. In the next years Magseis has significantly increased its capacity with more equipment deployed on the seabed, enabling larger surveys to be acquired at a reduced cost. In addition to the company’s in-house knowledge and R&D, Magseis has steadily developed and manufactured its automated handling system with its partner Robot Norge as well as Siemens and Berget regarding the manufacturing of the nodes.