Complementary Technology Reduces Seismic Costs and Widens Exploration Options

Traditional seismic acquisition – if there is such a thing – has come a long way in the years since PETEX began. We’ve moved from using dynamite and single streamers on converted boats to purpose-built, multi-streamered vessels capable of acquiring 3D and 4D data that gives us a clearer picture of the subsurface than we could have dreamed of offshore, and the technology onshore is equally impressive.

However, this technology comes at a huge cost, in time, money and personal safety as we explore in harsher and more remote environments.

Bell Geospace, providers of Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry™, believe they have the answer. “Using FTG can maximise the potential of areas with little or no existing (sparse) 2D datasets, greatly reducing seismic or drilling spend by only exploring targets identified and graded with FTG. Post 2D exploration efforts combined with FTG can be used to design 3D seismic or drilling programmes, again massively reducing acquisition times and cutting spend on groundwork” says Michael Douglas, Business Development Manager for Bell Geospace. “We are able to deliver interim images with 24 hours of acquisition, with final data in 4-6 weeks, enabling faster decision-making and ultimately shorter time to production”.

Their Basler Turbo 67 aircraft are an asset that enables them to acquire data in very difficult, potentially dangerous terrains. Recently Bell completed a technically and environmentally challenging survey in Greenland, over fjords and escarpments, ice, rock and water, and in poor weather. Bell were able to acquire the entire dataset without disturbing the sensitive environment, providing their client with interim images the next day – and the client went on to drill within 2 months of the acquisition.

The aircraft are equipped with long range fuel tanks and a 100ft wingspan, providing a stable platform for their full tensor gravity gradiometry™, magnetics and LiDAR instruments, which can identify iron, gold and uranium deposits in addition to hydrocarbons, whether they are under desert, jungle or arctic environments.

Their next major project, which they won after a tender process, will be in Ethiopia in January 2015 working for GPB Ethiopia Resources BV. John Macfarlane, General Manager, believes Bell Geospace’s unique ability to provide GPB with interim maps within 24 hours of each interlace gave them the winning edge, by supplying them with an interim map of the region flown, and giving them the flexibility to identify and prioritise the areas of interest.


Bell Geospace are regulars at PETEX, which they not only enjoy but see as an important part of their marketing strategy. Michael Douglas, told Show Daily “2014 has been an extremely busy year for Bell Geospace so it’s good to come to an event with such a wide range of technology on show, and where we can meet up with friends and industry colleagues, re-establishing relationships and forging new ones.”