Emerging Geophysical Sound Source Technologies

As new technical and technological advancements are made, there is an incentive to conduct new seismic surveys, which promise better geophysical data quality and stronger assurances of continuous, reliable yields of offshore oil and gas.

Seismic air sources remain the most effective, commercially available technology to obtain necessary, accurate sub-surface data. Although alternative technologies, including marine vibroseis, continue to be explored, such technologies are not yet commercialized, are still in preliminary testing stages and have not yet been shown to provide comparable seismic data quality. The timing for when alternative technologies may be available for commercial use is very uncertain and depends upon demonstrated performance, cost of the commercial product, reliability and durability.

Any hypothetical environmental benefits of alternative technologies have not been demonstrated, but efforts are proceeding on the assumption that any such benefits may be demonstrated during the development process.  Any prohibition of exploration activities based upon the expectation of future, but yet not commercially viable technology, is unwarranted. Emerging technologies should be driven by market forces, and IAGC opposes any requirement by regulators to use a given technology for conducting geophysical and geological surveys.