The Permian Basin is one of the most prolific oil provinces in the USA and has been actively explored since the 1920’s. Recent advances in drilling and production technologies are creating a new boom as the Wolfcamp formation rapidly emerges as a leading unconventional play. Operators are anxious to leverage seismic reservoir characterization and fracture prediction technologies that have lifted production in plays such as the Eagle Ford to guide their Wolfcamp drilling campaigns. However, plagued by rugged topography and highly karsted mesas, even seismic data traditionally regarded as high effort (300+ fold) fails to properly illuminate the target formation and generate the seismic resolution needed to support detailed stratigraphic interpretation and stress field characterization. The University Lands survey was designed to test the value of high resolution, wide azimuth, high fold seismic data in this setting while tightly controlling the cost of acquisition. Enabling technologies for the shoot were nodal recording, offset separated slip sweeps, and an innovative push-pull acquisition plan. Eight times the data effort incremented costs by only 58% and, of greatest importance, resulted in a substantial uplift in the quality of the imaged data.


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