Abstract

A novel integrated land seismic imaging system that uses distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) in a grid of shallow upholes is proposed. This system allows simultaneous land near-surface characterization and subsurface imaging in a cost-efficient manner. Using this fiber-optic system, uphole velocity surveys can be acquired at any time with a single shot, since all depth levels are recorded simultaneously. Dense grids of smart DAS upholes accurately characterize long-wavelength statics and reduce uncertainty in exploration for low-relief structures. In addition, connecting multiple upholes with a single fiber enables efficient acquisition of seismic surveys with buried vertical arrays, which can provide superior images of the deeper subsurface than surface seismic, but with improved accuracy, since they bypass most of the near-surface complexities. The smart DAS upholes can deliver on-demand surveys that simultaneously characterize the near surface and perform deep reflection imaging of oil and gas targets for exploration, development, or reservoir monitoring. We have performed successful field testing of the smart DAS system on an onshore field in Saudi Arabia. Such a system is long overdue for land regions that have complex near-surface conditions.

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