Industry Article: Illuminating the True Potential of Mexico

New surveys deliver enhanced subsalt imaging in a geographically complex area.

Publication: SEG Show Daily
Publication Date: 09/01/2017

Mexico’s historic energy reform provides an unprecedented opportunity for oil and gas companies looking to tap into the country’s extensive energy potential. Despite the current market conditions, the latest offshore and onshore lease rounds have attracted much attention, from supermajors to smaller operators competing to win exploration and exploitation blocks. To ensure the best return on investment, high-quality subsurface images are required to assess hydrocarbon potential, reduce risk and rank opportunities.

To address the challenges posed by the diverse environments, including deep water, shallow water and on-shore terrains as well as the complex geological structures present, WesternGeco has designed a comprehensive technology-driven portfolio of high-quality seismic data. The portfolio includes newly acquired 3-D wide-azimuth (WAZ) seismic survey data as well as reimaged 2-D and 3-D datasets. The seismic volumes are now available to enable more confident decisions during the bidding rounds and beyond.

An extensive offshore program

In the Campeche area a new acquisition campaign carried out over an 18-month period acquired 71,000 sq km (27,413 sq miles) of broadband WAZ seismic data, making it the largest single program in seismic history. The new data are being processed using the latest imaging technologies, including adaptive deghosting and reverse time migration (RTM) to enable more successful exploration and acting as a baseline for future appraisal and development campaigns in the frontier play.

To provide the industry with a complete data library of the Campeche basin’s shallow and deep waters, WesternGeco has partnered with ION Geophysical to reimage 82,000 sq km (31,660 sq miles) of 3-D narrow azimuth (NAZ) seismic data from Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) library. The broadband pre-processing workflow coupled with high-resolution steep dip (RTM) and Kirchhoff imaging was specifically designed to improve the images of the highly complex subsalt and thrusted structures.

The WesternGeco Perdido reimaging project ties the U.S. Gulf of Mexico Alaminos Canyon protraction area to the offshore Mexico Perdido area by incorporating 36,000 sq km (13,900 sq miles) of reimaged data. The portfolio incorporates all existing 3-D WAZ data as well as additional NAZ seismic data. To image the deep Paleogene subsalt structures and diapiric salt and shales in the area, a processing flow is being employed that integrates well data, gravity and magnetics to better constrain the modeling process.

Illuminating the True Potential of Mexico

WesternGeco multiclient programs in Mexico are shown.

Regional reimaging onshore Mexico 

A new onshore program in partnership with Seitel involves the reimaging of approximately 25,000 km (15,534 miles) of 2-D seismic data from CNH’s data library covering both conventional and unconventional onshore lease blocks in the areas of Burro Picachos, Burgos, Chicontepec, Veracruz and Sureste as well as the underexplored Chihuahua province.

Multiple vintage seismic datasets are also being reimaged. The workflow employs the latest refraction statics and signal processing solutions. This has significantly improved signal-to-noise ratio and produced superior imaging of main targets, enabling the first consistent regional seismic images throughout the large onshore areas. Final products over the prolific fields of the Chicontepec, Burgos and Sureste basins are now available.

Download: Illuminating the True Potential of Mexico (1.46 MB PDF)

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