The Rumaila oilfield in south-eastern Iraq lies in an area heavily contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO) from two recent major conflicts and with an ever-present security risk. Over 50 years of oilfield development has created very complex surface infrastructure which impacts surface access. In 2012 an 1800 sq km high-fold, wide azimuth 3D seismic survey was acquired over the field. The survey was designed with both the technical objectives, safety and security risks, and surface access limitations in mind. A risk-based approach was used to assess the UXO threat, resulting in the development of a “detect and avoid” UXO risk-management strategy. When coupled with a sparse point-receiver survey design and the operational flexibility of BP’s ISSNTM seismic acquisition technique, this allowed the survey to be safely and efficiently delivered while minimising the number of people on the seismic crew and its operational visibility, and significantly reducing activities with high levels of UXO exposure.


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