Case Study: Enabling seismic survey excellence for drilling precision in Zimbabwe

A case study demonstrating how STRYDE's nodal seismic systems enabled Polaris Natural Resources to conduct an efficient and cost-effective seismic survey for oil and gas exploration in Zimbabwe.

Project snapshot

Seismic acquisition contractor: Polaris Natural Resources

On behalf of: An Upstream Exploration and Production Company (Invictus Energy)

Industry: Oil and gas

Location: Frontier Basin in Zimbabwe (Cabora Bassa)

Environment type: Lightly vegetated, flat savanna land

Project goal:

To explore the petroleum potential of a Frontier Basin in Zimbabwe utilising 2D seismic survey methods to pinpoint future drilling locations

Node in zim

STRYDE Nodes laid out 82,929 times over 839.3KM

Survey snapshot

Survey type: A 2D seismic survey with swath shooting, by shooting 1 line and recording 2, to create pseudo seismic lines between receiver lines. Shot 38,400 shot points on 31 lines.

Deployment method: By foot

Survey layout:

  • Standard North, South, East, and West 2D lines, taking logistical and environmental elements into consideration
  • Far offset was 6,000 meters
  • 12.5-meter receiver points with a single Node, 25-meter shot points, 8 second sweep

Source used: Seismic vibrators (Vibroseis)

Sampling frequency: 2ms

Seismic trace density: 38,400 seismic traces per kilometre

Bill Mooney

STRYDE’s Nodes have been instrumental in our quest to helping end energy poverty in Zimbabwe with Invictus Energy. Not only did their systems enable us to do our work more efficiently, but the unique characteristics of the Nodes themselves, as well as the support systems also helped us to minimise risk and our environmental footprint in the area – making sure we minimised disruption for the local communities both during and after this highly critical seismic acquisition.

Bill Mooney, CEO at Polaris Natural Resources

Node in ground

The project challenges

  • Because the survey location was deemed as an environmentally sensitive area, the team required an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be completed prior to the survey being sanctioned, meaning that the survey had to adhere to strict environmental footprint management conditions

  • The survey size spanned over 800KM, which meant large volumes of seismic equipment were required to complete the survey effectively 

  • The survey was conducted in a remote location, in a complex terrain causing logistical challenges

  • The window of opportunity for shooting the survey was weather dependent, resulting in the survey having to be shot within a tight timeframe

  • As this was a frontier, unexplored basin, the Upstream Exploration and Production company required a solution that was low cost, without compromising the quality of the output dataset  

Our solution

STRYDE’s Nimble System™ was deployed to Polaris in Zimbabwe and consisted of 9,540 STRYDE Nodes™, 4 Nests and server units, the STRYDE nodal operating system (STRYDE’s charge, harvest, and Node management system), backpacks, planting devices and nodal holders (magazine strips and trays), navigator tablets, initialisation devices™, and field support personnel    

Node prep

The result

2D lines, the pseudo-2D lines were created in the North, South direction by recording 2 lines when the team were shooting a second line, which was created during processing – a highly innovative approach to seismic acquisition, made possible by STRYDE’s low-cost continuously recording Nodes.

The 2D survey is now complete and the high-density 2D seismic data has been harvested and sent for processing and interpretation in Calgary.

The data gathered during this acquisition will enable the Upstream Exploration and Production Company to pinpoint the exact location for the basin opening Muarabani-1 well, which is scheduled to be drilled in 1H 2022.

The value STRYDE systems unlocked for Polaris Natural Resources

Chris Einchcomb headshot STRYDE 520x520

Chris Einchcomb


STRYDE’s Nimble system™ is ideally suited to these kinds of remote 2D operations.  The speed at which locally hired teams could learn how to operate the system allowed Polaris to deliver a very efficient project that has delivered some fantastic imaging results for their client.

Access more case studies