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Branch Meeting SEG Distinguished Lecturer

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Speaker: Steven Constable

Talk Title: Mapping Gas Hydrate using Electromagnetic Methods

Talk Overview:

Gas hydrate is found globally on the continental shelves and is important as an unconventional hydrocarbon source, a hazard to drilling and seafloor infrastructure, a potential source of potent greenhouse gas, and a confounding resistor in the interpretation of conventional marine EM data. Yet, estimates of global hydrate volume vary by three orders of magnitude and identified recoverable reserves are rare, the reason being that it is difficult to image hydrate using seismic methods alone. However, gas hydrate is highly resistive and presents a good EM target at high saturations. Conventional controlled-source EM (CSEM) methods can be used to image hydrate, but are inefficient because seafloor receivers need to be closely spaced to achieve the appropriate resolution in the upper hundreds of meters of the seafloor. Several groups, including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, have developed towed CSEM systems designed to map hydrate in deep water, and such equipment is now being used commercially to image hydrate with a potential for methane production. In this lecture I will describe marine gas hydrate, laboratory studies of its electrical properties, and the equipment that we use to image it, with case studies from offshore California and the Gulf of Mexico.

About the Speaker:

Steven Constable studied geology at the University of Western Australia, graduating with first class honors in 1979. In 1983 he received a Ph.D. in geophysics from the Australian National University for a thesis titled “Deep Resistivity Studies of the Australian Crust” and later that year took a postdoc position at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, where he is currently Professor of Geophysics. Professor Constable is interested in all aspects of electrical conductivity, and has made contributions to inverse theory, electrical properties of rocks, mantle conductivity, magnetic satellite induction studies, global lightning, and instrumentation. However, his main focus is marine electromagnetism; he played a significant role in the commercialization of marine EM for hydrocarbon exploration, work that was recognized by the G.W. Hohmann Award in 2003, the 2007 SEG Distinguished Achievement Award, and now the SEG 2016 Reginald Fessenden Award. He also received the R&D 100 Award in 2010, the AGU Bullard Lecture in 2015 and recently (2016) was named a Fellow of the AGU. More recent efforts have involved the development of equipment to map gas hydrate and permafrost. Professor Constable has served as an associate editor for the journal Geophysics, as a section secretary and corresponding editor for the American Geophysical Union, and on the MARELEC steering committee.

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QLD September Local Branch Meeting

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Speaker: Dr Nabeel Yassi

Talk Title: Current trends in onshore seismic data acquisition; a case study on cable-free nodal systems

Talk Overview:

Since the late 1970s, seismic surveys were conducted with cabled multi-channels acquisition systems. As the number of channels steadily grew, a fundamental restriction appeared with hundreds of kilometres of line cables dragged on the ground. Seismic surveys within rugged terrain, across rivers, steep cliffs, urban areas, and culturally and environmentally sensitive zones; were both challenging and expansive exercises.


Modern technology has made different cable-free solutions practical. Many successful 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition using cable-free autonomous nodal systems were attempted in the past few years; however, there remain a number of concerns with these systems.


  •   The first concern queries whether the units are working according to manufacturer specifications during the data acquisition window.
  •   The second is the limited or no real-time data quality control that inspires sceptics to use the term blind acquisition to nodal operations.
  •   The third is the traditional question of geophone array versus point receiver acquisition.


The talk elaborates on the benefits of the cable-free seismic surveys with specific examples of 2D and 3D exploration programs conducted in Australia in the past six years. Optimisation of field crew size, field crew resources, cost implications, and footprint to the environment, wildlife and domestic livestock will be discussed.


In addition an open forum discussion will focus on the data quality/data assurance and the processes implanted during data acquisition to maintain equivalent industry standards to cable recording. The talk highlights data analysis and test results of geophone array versus cable-free point receiver recording from the latest 3D seismic survey in Australia.


About the Speaker:

Nabeel Yassi graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in geology, 1974; MSc in geophysics, 1977; and PhD degree in Exploration Geophysics from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne – England, 1984. After receiving his PhD, Nabeel resumed academic duties to achieve the position of Associate Professor in Geophysics at Baghdad University. From the mid-90s he moved to seismic exploration and supervised onshore and Transition Zone / OBC seismic data acquisition and data processing for Oil and Gas exploration; with extensive track of successful seismic surveys in Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.


Nabeel has complementary experiences in sedimentary basins analysis, structural-tectonics, and geological interpretations. This unique experience in geological / geophysical integrations has been systematically utilised to optimise 2D/3D seismic survey designs, enhanced seismic recording parameters, field seismic data processing and delivering the highest data quality for seismic surveys within the most challenging field conditions, sensitive areas and complex tectonic frameworks. Practices were further enriched through international exposure to different types of hydrocarbon systems.


During the last six years, Nabeel was the Chief Geophysicist at Geokinetics (Australasia) Pty Ltd. He was highly involved in the latest technologies of seismic surveys; including nodal, cable-free recording systems with a blend of conventional cable recording and different types of seismic sources. Participated in many 2D/3D seismic surveys delivering superior seismic data quality and peak field efficiency with minimum/no footprint to the environment. Recently he resumed the role of consultant geophysicist supporting the exploration industry to maintain the same high standards.

The Annual ASEG-PESA Trivia Night

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Annual ASEG-PESA Trivia Night will be held on Tuesday 16th August starting at 6pm.

Our very own ASEG Qld Branch Treasurer Henk van Paridon will don the Quizmaster hat.

This year’s venue is the XXXX Brewery (Function Room - Level 1) located on the corner of Black and Paten Streets at Milton.


Pricing is as follows:

Students - $20

ASEG/PESA Members - $30

Non-members - $40

This includes entry, drink tokens and nibbles.


Grab some friends and organize your own team or show up on the night and make some new ones.


Register online at now at: