Repsol starts seismic imaging project in Gulf of Mexico and Brazil

Nov 11, 2008 01:00 AM

Repsol-YPF has announced that the company's advanced seismic imaging project has begun exploration operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil.
Kaleidoscope is powered by Reverse-Time Migration (RTM), a sophisticated subsurface imaging tool whose potential is accepted by the oil industry, but until now has not been used because of technical hurdles. Repsol's next-generation Kaleidoscope technology overcomes those hurdles, enabling searches for energy reserves at greater depths and with greater clarity up to 10-times faster than conventional technology.

The Kaleidoscope project was launched in November 2006, and its research data, powered by the IBM PowerXCell(TM) 8i processors, proved this technology was successful in imaging areas of complex subsurface geological structure, such as the rich hydrocarbon provinces of the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and West Africa.
These basins are the new frontiers in oil exploration, where significant oil reserves are known to be present below thick masses of salt but have been difficult to pinpoint using conventional seismic imaging technology. Now, Kaleidoscope's clearer, faster seismic images bring unprecedented opportunities for energy companies to accurately identify underground oil and gas reserves in these traditionally hard-to-image areas.

Kaleidoscope enables Repsol to locate oil reserves buried some 30,000 feet (10,000 feet of water and then 20,000 more feet of seabed) below the Gulf of Mexico's surface, for example.
The US Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service estimates the Gulf holds 56 bn barrels of oil equivalent (oil and natural gas), which, at $ 65 a barrel, would be worth over $ 3 tn and would meet the entire US demand for oil and gas for about 2.5 years.

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