An analysis of passive seismic recording performance

Henry C. Bland

Passive seismic recording has many uses in oil and gas industry. It is used for fracture mapping (often during hydraulic fracturing), casing-failure detection, and passive imaging of stratigraphy. Each of these technologies makes great demands of seismic recording instrumentation. As compared to active seismic acquisition, using vibratory or impulsive sources, passive seismic acquisition requires greater instrumentation sensitivity, noise immunity and bandwidth. When embarking on a passive seismic program, a key factor in determining its success or failure is selection of monitoring equipment. While passive seismic service companies usually take care of equipment selection, it is helpful to understand any issues resulting from the choices made. Some selection criteria are discussed for passive seismic recording systems. Attributes of one passive seismic recording system are discussed in detail as a case study.