With more demand for seismic monitoring, especially in areas with small, rapid, and complex changes, seismic acquisition needs to be cheaper and available on demand. This is currently not the case anywhere in the world, mainly because of the need to contract, permit, and mobilize scarce, high-specification vessels over long distances. Using a semi-permanent Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) system removes the complexity of mobilizing node handling vessels for each monitor survey. Harvesting the data from the nodes in-situ using a field-resident AUV removes all remaining activity on the surface regarding node operations, thus providing an On Demand OBN system. Coupling this autonomous seismic recording system with an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) for autonomous source operations (RAM4D), would enable the whole operation to take place by remote control. If the USV is multi-purposed and stationed in-country, then the seismic operations could take place on short notice. Shell is developing and field testing the elements of such a fully autonomous, completely unmanned marine seismic acquisition system to provide on-demand reservoir monitoring data at much lower cost and environmental exposure.


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