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Gazprom Neft rolls out improved seismic prospecting technology

“Green seismic” technology, which leads to lower tree felling in seismic prospecting operations, is being prepared for roll-out across Gazprom Neft assets. Since the main risks in labour protection when undertaking seismic operations relates to the degree of preparation in seismic profiling, minimising felling volumes makes for better workplace safety.

“Green seismic” can, thanks to the use of modern technological and organisational solutions, significantly reduce man-made impacts on the environment and reduce the level of workplace injuries. The economic impact of using this new seismic surveying technique is expected to be in the order of RUB250 million per year.

Seismic prospecting is one of the main ways of investigating subsoil structure. Carrying it out often demands felling to make a clearing for transport to get through to deliver essential equipment, and to allow the laying of data recording systems. Traditionally, this has meant creating wide, four-metre sections to allow heavy all-terrain vehicles to get through, while works undertaken using “Green Seismic” technologies optimise the technical process by allowing specialist recording systems to be placed in narrow clearings, or by doing away with additional felling altogether — something that has been made possible thanks to the use of cordless receiving equipment, which can be installed using light equipment and technology.

This equipment was used for the first time by Gazprom Neft three years ago, at assets aboard (on the company’s “Middle East” project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq) and, hereafter, used at fields operated by Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz, Gazpromneft-Khantos, Gazpromneft-Vostok, and Slavneft-Megionneftegaz. Research undertaken found geological data obtained under “green seismic” to be in no way inferior to that obtained under traditional seismic operations. At the same time, the amount of deforestation is reduced, fewer personnel are involved, and work volumes are lower. The technology is universal and can be used in regions characterised by forestation, in agricultural areas, in areas marked by mountainous terrain, or at infrastructure facilities for which it is much easier to locate wireless sensors than traditional sensors.

Vadim Shashel, Head of Geological Prospecting, Gazprom Neft, commented: “Results obtained using modern environmentally friendly technology mean we can proceed with the wider use of ‘green seismic’. In addition to reducing manmade impacts, this new method has the additional advantage of significantly increasing industrial safety, due to less deforestation.”