SBIR Phase II: Variable Azimuth Wave-Equation Imaging (VAWEM)

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
3DGeo Development, Inc
4633 Old Ironside Drive, Santa Clara, CA, 95054
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Dimitri Bevc
(408) 450-7840
Business Contact:
Dimitri Bevc
(408) 450-7840
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will implement and demonstrate the feasibility of a new technology that enables enhance seismic resolution and imaging of deep water complex geologic structures by using variable azimuth wave-equation migration (VAWEM). VAWEM will provide much greater resolution and accuracy than what can be accomplished today for towed marine streamer data, and at significantly less computational cost. The software will be optimized for deployment on Linux clusters, and testing will be conducted to determine the optimal geophysical parameters for obtaining the best possible images. The project involves significant computer engineering to obtain the maximum efficiency required to image terabyte size data sets and significant geophysical work to demonstrate the validity of the approach. This advanced imaging methodology will improve success rate and cost effectiveness for new field discoveries and increase recovery efficiency for the development of existing fields. This technology is a fundamental revolutionary advance, and is a necessary building block in any seismic processing system that images 3-D prestack data using wave-equation methods for imaging deep water, under-salt complex geological structures which are the focus of modern oil and gas exploration. Societal and economic benefits from the proposed VAWEM technology will accrue directly to the nation by lowering energy costs and reducing dependence on foreign energy sources. Energy is at the core of the U.S. and world economies; therefore, the political, societal, and economic benefits of the proposed technology go well beyond the substantial direct economic benefit that this technology will bring to the proposing company and its customers. Commercial potential of the proposed technology is directly applicable to the fastest growing and strategically most important area of U.S. exploration, namely the deepwater subsalt oil and gas province of the Gulf of Mexico federal waters. It is estimated that most of the Gulf's untapped resources (45 Billion barrels of oil and 207 trillion cubic feet of natural gas) are trapped in deepwater subsalt reservoirs, and in ultra deep (over 15,000 ft) gas deposits. Since exploratory wells in these areas typically cost more than $30 million, tapping these reserves will require advanced imaging technology such as VAWEM to reduce risk and make exploration feasible. Reduction USA's dependence on Persian Gulf sources and the strategic benefits of maintaining strong U.S.A. leadership in oil technology transcend purely financial considerations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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