Connectors for Seismic Surveying Under Ice in the Arctic
Towed Streamer Data Acquisition System Gets Custom-Made Connectors For Harsh Conditions in Polar Environment
By Chris Batten Freelance Writer Norfolk, England
ffshore exploration continues to expand into new fron- tiers for leading oil and gas companies. There have
been many changes in exploration methods over the last 40 years, including a significant increase in the number of streamers and channels, as well as higher pressure require- ments and smaller form factors.
One of the more complex areas is the seismic market. SEA CON (El Cajon, California) worked closely with ION Geophysical Corp. (Houston, Texas) on its data acquisition technology, with SEA CON supplying the electrical and op-
Geo Explorer in the Arctic acquiring data with ION's Digi-STREAMER including SEA CON's connectors. (Courtesy of ION Geophysical)
tical interconnections used in ION's DigiSTREAMER towed streamer data acquisition system, designed for operating un- der Arctic ice.
Connector reliability is particularly important where there are adverse conditions and limited access, as in the Arctic. When demand for performance and survey areas in- creases, so do the challenges. Larger arrays mean towing more cables and managing larger amounts of data to collate and disseminate. ION wanted to develop its next-generation towed streamer system with significantly higher specifications, which meant more demands on the connector interface. To meet this, SEA CON had to resolve the technical issues cre- ated by the amount of data to be passed through the con-