RECENT innovations in onshore seismic data acquisition through the use of cable less nodes has resulted in new possibilities and increased benefits for Australian energy and minerals explorers.

In the 24 months since the Terrex Group teamed with Texas-based Fairfield Nodal to bring the nodal technology to Australia, the system has provided many advantages to explorers including more efficient production, greater portability and minimised environmental impact.

During this year’s APPEA Conference, Jamie Shaw, Associate Director – Environment at AECOM, presented an analysis of the nodal system’s use during Fleet Resources’ seismic survey in the Carnarvon basin, Western Australia, acquired by Terrex.

The presentation provided valuable insights into the environmental, social and safety benefits of using the nodal cable-less system compared with traditional cabled systems for both 2D and 3D seismic programs.

The nodal system typically requires significantly fewer trips along the acquisition line, considerably reducing the likelihood of environmental impact.

Other benefits include reducing fuel consumption, vehicle and traffic movement as well as the lower risk of injury to the seismic crew associated with the deployment of cables.

Proving the system’s effectiveness has opened up opportunities into areas that were previously inaccessible due to environmental, cultural heritage or land access constraints.

In an Australian first, Terrex utilised the cable-less nodal system deployed via helicopter in conjunction with dynamite for the source to complete Empire Oil & Gas’ Wannamal 3D Seismic Survey in 2013.

The result was successfully acquired data with the least possible environmental disturbance, shot entirely without cables or cleared lines and the associated vehicles or vibroseis trucks traversing the land.

These advances have not meant an end to traditional cable-based systems as Terrex Group chief operating officer Greg Dunlop explains:

“It is important to remember that some surveys depending on the target, terrain, or design are better suited to a cable-based system. Each survey is different; it’s all about finding the best solution for the client to achieve the best possible outcome”.

Terrex is Australia’s largest provider of onshore seismic exploration services to the Oil and Gas, Coal, Minerals and Research Industries.

Terrex streamline their operations to offer all seismic services in-house to provide tailored solutions for clients, including geophysical design and in-field QC, GPS surveying and GIS, line clearing and line restoration.