RTS use STRYDE Nodes to conduct 3D seismic for geothermal clients in Europe.
While 3D seismic has helped the oil and gas industry unlock the subsurface for decades, its potential to do the same in other businesses, such as geothermal, has remained largely untapped. This is primarily due to cost and complexity.
Like oil and gas, the geothermal industry can use seismic to look for certain geological formations, faults and fractures in the Earth’s crust and make decisions about where to drill.
Understanding the structural geology and stratigraphy of the subsurface is essential in this business.
Geothermal developments are typically located in urban or industrial areas. This introduces additional seismic imaging challenges which are particularly prevalent if attempting to use traditional cabled systems or bulkier nodes. For example, seismic crews and their equipment have limited access in urban environments. Often roads must be closed to allow for vibroseis trucks to shoot and for receiver equipment to be moved around. Additionally, users are more restricted about where they can place receivers. Traditionally, these challenges meant that developers had to compromise on survey geometry, and ultimately seismic quality, by acquiring sparser surveys.
The geothermal industry has been constrained by cost for decades. But our ongoing work with realtimeseismic is proving that with the right technologies, 3D seismic acquisition can be affordable, fast and high quality, offering new seismic opportunities to previously under-served industries. The STRYDE Node™ offers realtimeseismic its geothermal clients the perfect solution for all the challenges that the industry has traditionally faced. Our autonomous nodes are both affordable, very small and extremely light, which means they can be carried into a city in a backpack and deployed almost anywhere without affecting the environment.
Since image quality is critical in managing geothermal risk and cost, realtimeseismic conducted a series of comparison tests to benchmark our Nodes. Those tests showed that thanks to the size and weight advantages, our technology is more efficient than competing nodal systems, without any compromise in data quality. On that basis, realtimeseismic felt confident taking our system out into the field.
realtimeseismic has now used STRYDE’s nodal system to conduct several 3D seismic studies for geothermal clients in Europe, using about half the number of crew and vehicles than they used to with the current market-leading nodal system. In one project, RTS was able to shoot a city-based 3D study in just one month, versus the 6-10 months it would have once taken with cables. This is thanks to the flexibility of our nodal system but also the speed at which data can be processed once our nodes are harvested.
Knowing where faults and stress fields lie helps a developer decide where to tap into the rock’s natural permeability and optimise well trajectory. The STRYDE system helps users better understand the risks linked to induced seismicity generated by drilling and injection activities.
realtimeseismic told us that they are impressed with our flexible, agile approach and just how easy it is to use our system. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we posted a set of nodes to help the team keep a US seismic project on track, even though they were unable to send anyone into the field. Instead, realtimeseismic hired a farmer, tractor, and two labourers to deploy and retrieve our nodes from the farmer’s field!