- Copyright © 2000 Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Editor's note: Material in the following article is based on presentations at the workshop “The cost of land 3-D seismic data acquisition during the recording process,” held in conjunction with SEG's 1999 Annual Meeting.
In the marine environment, the value added by 3-D seismic is widely accepted, costs are reasonable, and delivery highly efficient. In fact, marine 3-D has been so successful in the past decade that a move up the technological ladder to 4-D or 4-C (or both) is possible or even probable.
However, the success of 3-D in the marine environment has not been duplicated on land. Is it unreasonable to expect it to be replicated on land or is it impossible?
Lynn Chenault, chairman of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, provided an analytic framework for assaulting the question in his talk “Do more with less … again!” Essentially, two approaches are available—share costs with others or somehow find ways to reduce costs without losing data quality. The latter, he stressed, is challenging today because market pressures have already caused most operators to try the “easy” cost-cutting measures. “What seems to be required now,” Chenault said, “is a bigger-picture look at costs with an eye to which truly add value and which are simply waste. By eliminating wasted costs, great strides can be made to improve financial performance without loss of quality. In fact, companies outside our industry that have made these measures work have enjoyed an increase in customer satisfaction.”
The three ways to reduce costs are improving business processes, improving operational processes, or improving technology. The remainder of this article will segregate the ideas presented at the workshop into one of these categories. However, Chenault emphasized that cost-reducing measures should never be implemented without full consideration of the big picture, which he summarized as: