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Seismic data transitioning to the cloud

70 terabytes of petroleum seismic data transcribed from obsolete tapes.

Figure 1 2D seismic lines and 3D seismic surveys in South Australia.
Figure 1 2D seismic lines and 3D seismic surveys in South Australia.

Phase 1 of an ambitious multiphase project to copy all onshore South Australian petroleum seismic data held by the Department for Energy and Mining into the cloud and provide 24/7 self-service access to the public has been completed. The dataset contains over 90 3D seismic surveys and more than 17,000 2D seismic lines throughout the state (Fig. 1). Its replacement value is estimated at $1.85 billion based on modern seismic acquisition costs.

Phase 1 began in late 2017 (see previous MESA Journal article, Seismic data goes digital, in December 2018). Data from approximately 1,800 tapes (the majority of which were obsolete tape-types) was transcribed onto current industry-standard tapes and also delivered on hard drives. The new tapes and a backup copy of the hard drives are securely archived at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library.

Having all of South Australia’s seismic data available on hard drive has significantly improved the department’s turnaround time for data requests as tapes no longer need to be sent offsite to be read by a specialist company.

Phases 2 and 3 of the project are currently being scoped and costed. Phase 2 involves storage of the seismic data in the cloud as further offsite backup and as the data source for Phase 3, which will see the entire open-file seismic data catalogue of both field data and processed data available for direct download via SARIG. The aim is to complete phases 2 and 3 by early 2020, subject to funding.

– Iain Campbell, October 2019

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