D066 An Objective Approach to Seismic Processing

Event Facts

  • 2 Nov. 2021
  • 3 Nov. 2021
  • 4 Nov. 2021
  • 8 Nov. 2021
  • 9 Nov. 2021
  • 10 Nov. 2021
Half-day sessions, starting in the mornings for the Americas and afternoons for Europe, Africa and Middle East. Any variation to this will be communicated in advance.
Event Code:
6 sessions
Rob Hardy
Booking Status:
Good Availability
GBP £2,145 (Exclusive of tax)

*Seats are currently available for NTA members only - non members will be advised as seats become available, based on the order they applied to the waitlist.


Course Facts

Course Code:
3 days
Virtual Classroom
4 Continuing Education Units
40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


Business Impact: The quality and accuracy of seismic data is critical to exploration, reservoir characterisation and monitoring of the subsurface. The impact of this course is to provide participants with the skills to liaise effectively with specialists and to make optimum decisions regarding data quality and use of data within the E & P lifecycle.

This course covers fundamental issues and linkages involved in acquiring and processing seismic data. The course focuses on the questions that seismic interpreters need to address to determine whether, and how, to re-acquire or re-process existing seismic data. Throughout the class, participants will use case histories and interactive processing tools to improve their understanding of the latest techniques and how to apply them effectively and efficiently to meet their objectives.

Duration and Training Method

This is a virtual classroom course divided into 6 three hour webinar sessions (equivalent to a 3-day classroom course), comprising lectures, discussion and interactive exercises using case histories to illustrate the basic theory and impact of the techniques discussed.

The purpose of this course is to teach fundamentals rather than a particular software suite. To this end, participants will use a series of web-based software modules to experience the processing options available and learn how to combine the basic tools together to build a flow which meets objectives.

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Recognise the most common seismic acquisition and processing techniques used in seismic exploration & production.
  2. Demonstrate the fundamentals of sampling theory and seismic survey design and consequences for acquisition, processing and interpretation objectives.
  3. Identify how velocity model building, anisotropy and selection of migration algorithm can affect accuracy of interpretation in depth.
  4. Analyse newer acquisition & processing techniques alongside their potential benefits & pitfalls.
  5. Discuss the impact of seismic processing parameter selection for specific objectives such as amplitude interpretation for exploration and reservoir characterisation.
  6. Examine the use of seismic modelling in survey design, processing parameter selection & interpretation verification.
  7. Construct a typical seismic processing workflow covering data preparation, parameterisation, noise & multiple suppression, velocity model building, the imaging process & likely issues at each step.
  8. Liaise more effectively with specialists and to make optimum decisions regarding data quality and use of data within the E & P lifecycle.
Seismic technology is changing continuously in the drive towards improved imaging while reducing cost and turnaround. This course is divided into two main themes which are not extensively covered in the geophysical literature. Following an overview of relevant theory, the first part addresses in a non-prescriptive way the type of questions geoscientists have to answer to meet objectives. Examples might be:
  • Can longer offsets be obtained?
  • Can the bandwidth be improved?
  • Will amplitude versus offset analysis be worthwhile?
  • Will depth imaging be required?
  • Should I re-shoot versus re-process and what is the cost and the benefit?

A set of geophysical tools and rules are provided to help assess the quality and value of seismic data in a given area. We then use the methodology to assess the benefits (and costs) of re-processing and re-acquisition using the latest technologies. Seismic modelling provides a central theme to the methodology.

The second main aim of the course is to provide a demonstration of current geophysical and processing techniques that can be applied to seismic data. From a basic knowledge of seismic processing, participants will be given an overview of standard practice, and then for each method we will introduce the basic theory (with few equations), parameterisation, benefits, limitations, pitfalls and likely value. Where possible we will focus on the applications of the techniques using real case histories and common terminology. The whole processing sequence is covered, including data preparation for land and marine data, noise and multiple suppression, velocity model building, statics, time and depth imaging including anisotropy and issues affecting resolution. Interactive processing exercises, using land and marine synthetic and real data examples are provided throughout the course to enable the attendees to grasp the importance of key parameters. We will also cover the generation of specialised outputs used in quantitative interpretation including AVO and inversion volumes and address the challenges and benefits from the current drive to automation within seismic workflows.

Session 1: Workstation Based Workflow: Objective Setting

  • Geophysics refresher: an acquisition and processing primer including a brief overview of basic wave theory, noise suppression, velocity model building, stacking, imaging and factors affecting resolution.
  • Basic building blocks including convolution, sampling and aliasing.
  • Simple data conditioning techniques including trace scaling, automatic gain control and frequency and dip filtering.

Session 2: Survey Design and Signal Processing Workflow

  • Technical aspects of survey design featuring a basic survey design workflow and rules of thumb for orientation and azimuthal coverage.
  • Amplitudes, frequency and wavelet processing featuring designature, attenuation compensation and combining acquisition and processing solutions to obtain broadband data and improved resolution.

Session 3: Noise and Multiple Suppression Workflow

  • Noise: types, suppression and quality control in Marine and Land seismic data
  • FK, radon, tau-p analysis, machine learning techniques and quality control.
  • Aliasing of data, regularisation and interpolation.
  • Multiple suppression, quality control and interpretation including predictive methods (deconvolution, shallow water demultiple), moveout methods (Radon) and free surface multiple removal (2D and 3D SRME).

Session 4: Imaging Workflow

  • Basic migration, prestack time migration and gather generation.
  • Correcting for velocity variation and complex sub-surface: Prestack depth migration.
  • Algorithm choice: Kirchhoff single/multi arrival, Beam versus wavefield methods (including reverse time migration), least-squares migration.
  • Anisotropy including VTI, TTI, orthorhombic cases.
  • Imaging with multiples, Elastic imaging and Future developments.

Session 5: Velocity Model Building and Statics

  • Velocity model building techniques for depth imaging and quality control.
  • Statics: elevation, refraction, tomographic based statics are compared using a series of synthetic and recent real case histories.
  • Full waveform inversion toolkit, quality control and recent case histories.
  • Tomography techniques and role of interpreter in velocity model building and quality control featuring recent case histories from North Sea and Atlantic margins.

Session 6: Case Histories and Meeting Objectives

  • Case histories: complex topography, amplitude extraction and data conditioning workflow for reservoir characterisation.
  • Specialised processing: Single sensor, OBC, Elastic and 4D methodologies.
  • Meeting objectives, acquisition and processing methods for the future.


The following sections are included within the manual but not extensively covered during the online sessions.

  • Seismic data formats: seismic and navigation formats, pitfalls and quality control.
  • Data loading: dynamic range (bit precision), reconciling navigation and seismic data, common pitfalls when loading depth data, land data and gathers with recommended quality controls. Seismic display and colour-bars.
  • Processing tenders: a brief overview of tendering seismic processing contracts.

Who should attend

This course is aimed towards geoscientists seeking an overview of new geophysical techniques and processing methods and those who wish to more effectively liaise with specialists to improve their decision making and deliver objectives. A geophysics refresher is provided, but participants should have a basic knowledge of seismic acquisition and processing terminology.

Prerequisites and linking courses

A geophysics refresher is provided, but participants should have a basic knowledge of seismic acquisition and processing principles and terminology.

Course N080 (Geophysics for Sub-Surface Professionals) or N085 (Introduction to Seismic Interpretation) provide a suitable introduction for those unfamiliar with the basic concepts.

Rob Hardy


Rob established Tonnta-Energy Limited in 2008 - a Dublin based company concentrating on seismic processing, seismic modelling, seismic survey design and specialized seismic processing including research, training and independent peer review. Basic and advanced seismic processing courses using specially developed web-based processing technology for data analysis have been given to over 800 industry based geoscientists worldwide.

Between 2015 and 2018 Rob worked for PETRONAS in a value assurance role overseeing all aspects of research geophysics from exploration through to monitoring, including technical adviser for high-performance computing within PETRONAS and member of most senior exploration technical team approving international and domestic well locations, acreage acquisitions and relinquishments.

Rob has extensive experience of seismic acquisition and processing from North Sea (UK, Norway, Denmark), West of Shetland & Faroes, Ireland, Poland, Algeria, West Africa, Central Africa, Mexico, South Atlantic, Brasil, Suriname, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Rob has a background in both industry and academia. He worked with Amerada Hess between 1990 to 2001, where he helped establish and eventually ran the geophysical operations group in London working with the research centre in Houston. In 2003, Rob formed and co-led a research program on seismic reflection processing and interpretation funded by the oil industry within the Geology Department at Trinity College, Dublin. This program investigated the Irish continental shelf, publishing more than 20 articles with 7 Ph.D. students and Hardy is still involved in current collaborations and research in Ireland.

His research interests include reflection seismic acquisition, signal and image processing and modelling including determination and visualization of uncertainty due to seismic processing technologies. Hardy has publications on multiple suppression, velocity model sensitivity, imaging beneath complex topography and imaging and positioning of faults on seismic data.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Cambridge University, England - Marine Geophysics
BSc Durham University, England - Geology and Geophysics
Memberships:  SEG, EAGE, PESGB, SEAPEX

Courses Taught
N066: An Objective Approach to Seismic Acquisition, Processing and Reprocessing

Alternative Dates for this Course

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