Exploration in the world’s Arctic wastes has taken another step forward with the start of the first 3D multi-client seismic survey on Alaska’s North Slope by CGGVeritas.

High levels of industry pre-funding have been sourced to support the new Tabasco 3D multi-client survey near the Kuparak and Alpine oil fields on the North Slope.

A total of 133 square miles of territory is being covered in the new data acquisition programme, which will involve the deployment of high-productivity vibroseis acquisition (HPVA)and CGG;;s specialised broadband vibroseis technologies, to obtain high resolution data.

The HPVA technology involves data acquisition with 1500 data points per square mile, providing a high-density 3D survey. “….Achieving a new benchmark in offset and azimuth sampling, this survey will be a milestone in Arctic exploration,” the contractor says.

The broadband vibroseis technique offers four octaves of frequency and together the two technologies are designed to provide a high-density, broadband dataset which will allow optimal depth migration and reservoir attribute work. “The combination of these two technologies is ideal for imaging the complex reservoirs in this area, and for characterization of rock properties relative to the emerging shale oil resource play on the North Slope,” says CGGVeritas.

Data will be imaged with anisotropic pre-stack depth migration at the company’s data centre in Calgary, Canada and the first migrated data is due to become available  in July.