GPS APPLICATION TO SEISMIC OIL EXPLORATION

C. Johnson and P. Ward

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: This paper is to communicate the global positioning requirements of the geophysical oil exploration industry, shows that the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) meets these requirements, and encourages the development of GPS as an international geodetic positioning resource whose peacetime use extends it far beyond its intended military use. The geophysical oil exploration industry has always needed high-precision global positioning. Most of today’s oil exploration is by the seismic method. The end product of a seismic survey is a three-dimensional map of the subsurface geometry below the prospect area. The end objective is to precisely locate a subterranean formation that could support oil and to drill for oil in this location with a high expectancy of discovery. Oil is becoming increasingly difficult, hence more expensive, to find; it is either too deep for the resolution of prior surveys to discover and/or located in remote, sometimes hostile environments. Geodetic control is also becoming more of a problem for the seismic industry for similar reasons. GPS can solve the geodetic control problem, so perhaps the geophysical industry will become the first commercial user of GPS.
Published in: NAVIGATION, Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 26, Number 2
Pages: 109 - 117
Cite this article: Johnson, C., Ward, P., "GPS APPLICATION TO SEISMIC OIL EXPLORATION", NAVIGATION, Journal of The Institute of Navigation, Vol. 26, No. 2, Summer 1979, pp. 109-117.
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