ION Geophysical Corp. (NYSE: IO) has acquired 235 square miles of new 3D multi-client seismic data in the Marcellus Shale play in central Pennsylvania. Known as ClearfieldSCAN™, the survey is part of ION's growing library of ResSCANS™ 3D multi-client seismic data programs, managed by ION's GeoVentures™ group. Acquired using the INOVA FireFly® cableless acquisition system and VectorSeis® digital sensors, the P- and C-wave data is being processed by ION's GX Technology (GXT) group. GXT will also perform seismic attribute analysis and provide other interpretation deliverables.
The Marcellus shale contains about 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas and 3.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas liquids according to an August 2011 assessment by the US Geological Survey (USGS), making it one of most prospective unconventional gas plays in North America. Economic viability in shale plays has traditionally been achieved through two engineering technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation. Lower gas prices, however, are creating an increased interest in the use of seismic data to not only help the drilling engineer "stay in zone" and avoid geo-hazards, but also to help operators prioritize acreage positions and drilling locations, optimize their drainage strategies and well spacing, and better design their stimulation programs.
Ken Williamson, senior vice president of ION's GeoVentures group, commented, "With our 2D BasinSPANS™ programs, ION established the industry standard for exploration-focused, basin-scale programs. ResSCANS have a similar value-creating potential with a development and production reservoir focus, leveraging the technology and expertise across the ION portfolio and from outside specialists. ClearfieldSCAN exemplifies this approach, addressing the appraisal and development challenges our customers are experiencing in resource plays such as the Marcellus."
ION plans to deliver ClearfieldSCAN data by the end of Q2 2012.