There is a misunderstanding that seismic surveys covering the same geographical areas are in some way “duplicative” or overlapping, suggesting that these surveys are not necessary or the number can be “reduced” in some form by sharing data. On the contrary, there is no such thing as a duplicative survey.
While it may appear that sound sources, listening hardware, and vessel operations are similar, the variations in the configuration of a survey and data acquisition and processing options are numerous. Companies use proprietary, patented survey acquisition and data processing methods which makes each survey distinctive and their data unique. Survey data, even when acquired in overlapping geographical areas or periods of time, contain different information about the subsurface and what lies beneath it.
Geophysical survey customers find data differences substantial enough that they often license multiple sets of information for the same geographical area because the various data delineate different aspects of the subsurface, helping companies evaluate the resource potential and eliminate safety and operational risks. As new technological advancements are made, there is an incentive to conduct new surveys, which promise better geophysical data quality and stronger assurances of safe, continuous, and reliable yields of offshore oil and gas resources.