Multicomponent seismic technology has advanced to the point that the science can be practiced by anyone who wishes to take advantage of any of the applications demonstrated in the preceding chapters. It is appropriate to make a few closing remarks to reinforce that conclusion.
History shows that all seismic technologies continually evolve and advance, and multi-component technology will do so also. Because acquisition, processing, and interpretation of multicomponent data cost more than equivalent actions with single-component P-wave data, lower-cost multicomponent seismic technology is desirable. However, cost reduction will not occur quickly. Expanded use of multicomponent seismic technology probably will parallel the development of 3D seismic technology in the 1970s and 1980s. At first, the cost of 3D seismic technology was so high that the only projects that could justify acquiring 3D data were high-capital projects involving expensive drilling and construction of production facilities. After a few years, a wider community of users saw the value of 3D technology and began to request 3D seismic services at affordable prices. Once an appropriate-sized user community existed, efficiencies were introduced to lower cost, and the rest is history. Three-dimensional technology now is practiced everywhere by everyone.
Similar to the expansion of 3D seismic technology, multicomponent seismic technology probably will grow more rapidly through applications in high-capital oil and gas development projects rather than in lower-cost exploration projects. If the bottom-line cost of a project is significant, the incremental cost of using multicomponent data rather than single-component data will rarely be an issue.
Three-dimensional seismic technology became