Iranian company implements passive seismic project

Passive seismic technology has been used for the first time in Iran by an Iranian contractor.

The sophisticated method detects natural low frequency earth movements usually with the purpose of discerning geological structure and locate underground oil, gas, or other resources.

Dana Energy has purchased 120 passive seismometers and GPS stations from a Spanish manufacturer and already installed them around the city of Dehdasht, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, for an exploration project, Ghasem Heidari, executive consultant and manager of the project, said.

“The preparation and installation of 117 seismic stations in an area of 400 square kilometers, which includes the city of Dehdasht, were finished in September,” he said. “We’ve been collecting data for a month now,” he added.

The passive seismic tender was awarded to Dana Energy a year ago, but sanctions had remained a major obstacle on the way of importing the equipment, Heidari said. “After the lifting of sanctions, we managed to import the equipment and used them for the Dehdasht project,” he explained.

The method uses seismic data from earthquakes to address the low frequency lacuna problem in traditional hydrocarbon exploration methods. Passive seismic was first used in 2003 in Greece. Seismometers with frequency response down to about 1 Hz are placed over a target subsurface region in an array with spacing suitable for hydrocarbon exploration.

“Under this method, data are collected over a long period of time, maybe months,” Heidari said. “In Dehdasht case, we expect data collection to be finished by March 2017.”

He noted that his company will soon have an upper hand, compared to its local competitors, in the energy and dam-building industries, since it has both the equipment and the expertise needed to implement passive seismic projects in the country.

Interviewee:
Ghasem Heidari
Executive Consultant
Geophysical Services