Case Study: Setting a new world record for seismic trace density at a CCUS site in Canada

A case study demonstrating how STRYDE's nodal seismic systems enabled an ultra-high-density seismic survey to be acquired for a CCUS application. This project was conducted in partnership with STRYDE, Explor, and Carbon Management Canada at a CCUS research site in Canada, where the smallest and lightest source and receiver equipment in the industry were used to achieve a trace density of 257 million traces/km2.

Explor CCUS

Project snapshot

Project partners: STRYDE, Explor and Carbon Management Canada (CMC)

Industry: Carbon, Capture and Underground Storage (CCUS)

Location: The CCUS Containment and Monitoring Institute Research site in Canada

Environment type: Grassland

Project goal:

To acquire an ultra-high-density (UHD) seismic survey at a CCUS injection site in the most efficient and affordable way possible, using the latest receiver and source technologies available on the market

Node layout
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STRYDE Nodes™ deployed by 10 people in just 5 days

Survey snapshot

Survey type: 3D UHD seismic survey

Deployment method: By foot

Survey layout: 1C configuration on a 7.5x7.5m carpet grid, and an additional cross spread consisting of 2 lines with STRYDE deployed in 3C configuration at 3.75m receiver spacing

Source used: A combination of Explor PinPoint® sources and Vibroseis sources

Sampling frequency:

  • Almost all Nodes were configured with a standard 2ms sample rate
  • The exception was on one of the 3C lines configured at 1ms to explore potential higher frequency content beyond the specifications of the nodes

Seismic trace density: By acquiring all source points into an all-live receiver spread, a total of 257.4 million traces were acquired into this 1 km2 survey (using vibroseis and Pinpoint® sources combined), setting a new global record for seismic trace density

STRYDE Nodes in a magazine on the back of a deployment backpack close up

Our collaboration with STRYDE and CMC is changing the game for subsurface imaging in support of CCUS, and we are proud to have broken a world record for trace density. We are delighted with the performance of how STRYDE's nimble nodes worked seamlessly together with our next-generation PinPoint® system, which weighs less than 2 kilograms and can fit in your pocket. The agility and cost-efficiency of these systems are driving a step-change in imaging the subsurface and sets a new benchmark for what can be achieved for CCUS.

Allan Châtenay, President at Explor

Why use seismic for CCUS?

CO2 storage requires certain geological conditions to be met to make it successful. This in turn requires a thorough understanding of the subsurface, not only to find the right host but to also monitor the newly created “reservoir” because CO2 leakage can incur serious risk if it reaches certain geological formations.

In 2021, STRYDE joined forces with Explor and CMC to demonstrate a very efficient way of acquiring this type of seismic using the latest miniaturised seismic acquisition equipment for both sources and receivers.

Projects conducted at this CCUS research site allow technology developers like STRYDE and Explor to advance the commercialisation of carbon storage, inform best practices in CCUS monitoring technologies and help the energy industry better understand the movement of fluids underground, in this environment.

What we did

  • Deployed 19,872 STRYDE Nodes™, navigator tablets, initiation devices, backpacks, nests, magazine strips, and the nodal operating software system to Alberta, Canada
  • Explor field deployment personnel then planted the STRYDE Nodes™ aided by the navigator tablets that held the survey layout plan
  • The vibroseis source technology, and Explor’s miniature Pinpoint® seismic source technology, were deployed and initiated
  • Active source operations ceased prior to commencement of the planned CO2 injection, and the full spread of 19,872 STRYDE Nodes™ continued recording with no active source for 5 more days. This passive data acquisition was aimed at exploring the potential use of seismic interferometry in monitoring CO2 injection
  • Using the navigator tablets to locate STRYDE Nodes™, the field operations team retrieved the devices in record time
  • STRYDE Nodes™ were then loaded into the nests for charging and data harvesting using STRYDE’s Nimble system
  • The data was directly extracted onto Amazon Web Services (AWS) Snowball Edge, a 100 TB edge appliance
  • The data was then cloud transferred to STRYDE’s Centre of High-Performance Computing (CHPC) facilities in less than 4 days
  • A series of parallel Fast track processing commenced which included:
    o   First-break picking and refraction tomography
    o   Linear & Random Noise attenuation
    o   Residual statics
    o   Surface consistent deconvolution and amplitude correction
    o   Kirchhoff Post or Pre-stack time migration
    o   Stack

The result

257.4 million traces were acquired in this 1 km2 survey, resulting in 78 terabytes (TB) of ultra-high-density 3D seismic data. This data set was acquired using the STRYDE Nodes™ and a combination of traditional vibroseis sources and innovative PinPoint® source technology.   Using two of the most compact and agile receiver and source systems available in the market, this survey produced one of the densest seismic datasets ever acquired on land in the most cost effective and efficient way, and delivered high-resolution subsurface insights required to locate and monitor CCUS injection using low cost, miniaturised equipment.

The benefits we unlocked and established during this project

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Amine Ourabah headshot STRYDE 520x520

Amine Ourabah

Head of Processing

This is yet another example of the incredible nimbleness, versatility, and flexibility of the STRYDE system at enabling surveys designs that were unimaginable a few years ago, even for oil and gas applications. The STRYDE system has clearly freed surveys from the traditional receiver constraints allowing new innovative sources technologies to demonstrate their ability to push this nimbleness even further. This survey demonstrates that ultra-high-density seismic is no longer an exclusive product of the oil and gas industry but has now become accessible to more modest industries that will benefit immensely from it.

Learn more about how STRYDE, Explor, and CMC broke a world record for seismic trace density by watching this video: