- Copyright © 2003 Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Seismic prospecting in Mexico dates from 1923 when refraction techniques were applied for the first time in The Golden Lane and the Gulf Coast of the United States to delineate salt domes and reefs (Table 1).
In Mexico, like most of the rest of the world, 3D surveys currently dominate seismic activity. The value of 3D is illustrated by Figure 1 which shows that the 2D seismic interpretation of Campeche Bay in the 1970s missed structural features and important fields that are evident on the 3D interpretation. 3D seismic data has been a reliable guide to such important new fields as Sihil, which underlies the giant Cantarell Field, and has been key recovering most of the present reserves in mature fields such as the Tabasco-Chiapas area. Today, 3D surveys account for 95% of the onshore and offshore contracts.
Pemex reviews in 1996 and 2000 revealed strengths and weaknesses in technology management. The goal was to develop a technology strategy that would close the gap with the major oil companies. As a result of the 1996 study, Pemex E&P became a “strong technology follower”—i.e., one that uses the best existing technology practices, which others have successfully tested (Figure 2).
A corporate strategy was designed that considered people, overall corporate goals, new investments in technology, selection of technology providers, improvement of in-house skills, and the development of better databases and computing resources. By 2000, Pemex E&P's new strategy had boosted its seismic capabilities in:
3D seismic processing (hardware, software, technical support, and growing …