Aramco wins innovation awards at engineering geophysics conference

AL-AIN, United Arab Emirates, January 10, 2018

Members of the first-place winning team from EXPEC Advance Research Center, left, include Diego Rovetta, Daniele Colombo, and Ernesto Sandoval-Curiel.

EXPEC Advanced Research Center recently won first and second place in the 2017 Innovation Award competition at the International Conference on Engineering Geophysics (ICEG) in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.

Sponsored by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the event represents the biggest and most prestigious society in exploration geophysics of the oil and gas industry.

The event, in its fourth edition, attracts a large participation from the international scientific and industrial communities by concentrating on global innovation, creativity, as well as advances and new approaches in the field of engineering and geophysical applications.

Saudi Aramco received first place for a novel technology that relates to automatic near surface velocity and residual statics solutions from surface consistent analysis of refracted waves. The unique methodology relies exclusively on the analysis of refracted waves rather than reflected waves, and provides surface consistent solutions in an automatic fashion at a fraction of the time needed by conventional approaches. It has been developed in EXPEC ARC’s Geophysics Technology Division and is the object of several patent and trademark filings.

The second innovation award, also invented by the Geophysics Technology Division, was granted to Aramco for developing a novel fiber optic seismic system for onshore acquisition, which is capable of simultaneous near surface characterization and deep reflection imaging of oil and gas targets. It addresses both near surface and data quality challenges by burying sensors in the subsurface. The main component of the system is a so-called smart Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) uphole, a shallow hole (50 to 500 meters deep) with cost-effective optical fiber similar to what is used for internet connections at home or the office. The technology enables every meter of the fiber to act as a seismic sensor, turning a shallow hole into a smart, instrumented well, listening from top to bottom.