Seismic Record Breakers

Records tumble as seismic activity picks-up. CGG and PGS put the seismic super-ships through their paces offshore Norway and Angola.

Times have been hard for the seismic industry over the last couple of years. Having launched a fleet of super-ships just at the tail-end of the last industry boom, it has been a case of sitting-tight and waiting for post-megamerged clients to loosen-up the purse strings.


But there are signs that the hi-tech boats are coming into their own now with news from both CGG and PGS of recently completed super-surveys. CGG’s Alize flagship is popping the last pop on a 4400 sq. km. non-exclusive survey over Block 33 offshore Angola.

70 sq. km. per day

The vessel deployed a dual source, 10 streamer configuration with a 900 m distance between outer streamers. Production exceeded 70 sq. km. on several days. Block 33 is one of the three deepwater blocks offshore Angola which attracted a combined total signature bonus in excess of USD 1 billion.


Meanwhile in the mid-Norwegian deepwater sector, PGS claims a record for the streamer configuration used in its latest multi-client 3D survey. Operating in the western part of the Donna Terrace, the PGS Ramform vessel is towing 12 streamers, each over 5 kilometers long. Totaling 61.2 kilometers of in-sea streamers, PGS claims this survey is the largest ever spread towed.

Massively parallel

Onboard data processing will be carried out using the Company’s massively parallel onboard processing supercomputers and proprietary software. The 2,300 sq. km. survey will use a single source, high resolution configuration.


Modeling has shown that high-definition surveying will improve imaging beneath the complex overburden. BP Amoco and Chevron have “substantially” pre-funded the survey. Work is expected to be completed in September. PGS sees a great future for high-definition surveying and expects to be pushing the envelope further to the maximum 20-streamer capacity of the Ramform.

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