The benefits of high trace density 3D seismic recording for improved imaging have been well established, particularly in areas of complex geology. However, it is surprising to note that in some of the areas where these benefits are most needed (e.g. foothills) many 3D surveys are still being acquired with relatively low trace densities. As many of the onshore Latin American basins are entering a phase of exploratory/development 3D’s the items discussed herein are critical considerations to maximizing drilling results and field development. This paper will discuss historical trends in parameter optimization, potential strategies for increasing survey trace density in a cost-effective manner, technology advancements that offer new considerations for design and both good and poor examples of foothills data acquisition.


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