Schlumberger Ltd. and Norway’s TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. are collaborating on next generation ocean-bottom node projects to assist exploration clients in their quest to develop U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) oil and natural gas.

The ocean-bottom node technology being utilized in deep U.S. waters traditionally has focused on development and time-lapse 4-D seismic applications, but multiclient node projects also can provide information for near-field and greenfield activities. Seismic receivers are either implemented using ocean-bottom cables or ocean-bottom nodes. While cables often are positioned by receiver boats, nodes may be free positioned, allowing their use in deepwater.

TGS and Schlumberger’s WesternGeco, the geophysical services product line, already have an ocean-bottom node project underway in the prospective oil and gas blocks of Mississippi Canyon and Atwater Valley, which is set to be completed by the end of September.

“TGS and WesternGeco have a strong track record of investing together, using the latest technology so that our clients can benefit from large-scale, high-quality data in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” TGS CEO Kristian Johansen said. “We are working closely with our clients to plan future phases and are excited by the potential growth in exploration and production activity that this could drive in the U.S Gulf of Mexico and beyond.”

Exploration and production companies increasingly are looking to ocean-bottom nodes, combined with advanced processing, as the next-generation technology to support oil and gas activity offshore.

TGS and WesternGeco already have extensive multiclient libraries of seismic and other geoscience data in the U.S. deepwater, and by combining it with large-scale ocean-bottom node data, imaging would be improved for complex subsalt structures.

“Our goal is to help our clients mitigate subsurface risks and accelerate their exploration and development programs,” WesternGeco President Maurice Nessim said. “Our geophysical, geological and technology expertise position us well for this next phase of activity in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.”