'Our goal is to create a 2D data grid to evaluate the potential of Brazilian basins'

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Monday, October 30, 2017

In this, the first of a two-part interview, João Corrêa, Brazil country manager of Norwegian company Spectrum in Brazil, spoke to BNamericas about the different types of seismic surveys and data analysis that are used in the oil and gas industry and about how the company operates in Brazil, including its future plans for the country. In the second part, Corrêa will talk about Spectrum's seismic survey campaign that has just started in the Ceará basin, among other projects.

BNamericas: Spectrum's history of operations in Brazil goes back many years. When did the company make its first seismic data collection in the country?

Corrêa: In 1999, Spectrum made the first multi-client data collection in Brazil. At the time, the company conducted only one seismic survey and left the country, returning years later, in 2011. From 2011 on, the company has operated continuously in the country. The use of seismic data depends on a concession from the Brazilian state, which is similar to the concession that is given to oil and gas producers that are interested in exploring in Brazilian sedimentary basins. We currently have a five-year authorization for conducting offshore seismic surveys.

BNamericas: What is the procedure the company has adopted to start seismic data surveys?

Corrêa: There are two ways to conduct seismic surveys in Brazil. The companies that work with data collection and analysis may request authorization from [oil and gas regulator] ANP to acquire data in one of these two modalities. One is exclusive data, which is acquired by an operator that already has an exploratory area under its concession. For this modality, both the environmental license and the authorization are requested in the name of the operator, which is the owner of the project and therefore responsible for all phases, including the licensing phase.

The second modality refers to non-exclusive data, or multi-client, as it is called. In this case, the company gains a license to use seismic data, but it does not own the data, nor does the company that conducted the survey. There is a period for commercial use. A company like Spectrum, for example, when it collects seismic data in the multi-client mode, acquires that data and for 10 years it has the right to commercially use it, selling it to operators. After that, that data becomes public. It's an interesting model, similar to the Norwegian one.

BNamericas: In which modality is Spectrum currently focused on in Brazil?

Corrêa: Spectrum's profile is geared towards multi-client, non-exclusive data. The company also doesn't participate in bidding for the acquisition of non-exclusive data. Our form of operation is to search for areas where there is data deficiency, that is, either there's no data available or where the data that exists is outdated. We also look for areas with low sampling density, in which we can increase the sampling density to open a knowledge window.

BNamericas: What is the long-term goal?

Corrêa: Our goal is to create a 2D data grid so that ANP can evaluate the potential of Brazilian basins and offer these areas in new concession rounds. Spectrum searches the areas, conducts seismic data surveys, and then sells them multiple times, which is cheaper than purchasing unique data. In addition, the operator can also use the multi-client data acquired to meet its minimum exploratory program. The multi-client modality is also an advantage for the country since, after all, the government guarantees that the data belongs to the Brazilian state. There's also a stimulus to the development of new businesses because companies have a relatively long period for marketing this acquired information.