14 February 2019
On Sunday 25 November 2018 15 students from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg set out for Vienna
to visit OMV in Austria. Most of them are upcoming geophysicists in the Bachelor or Master
programme. The excursion had been planned by the EAGE Student Chapter Freiberg with and was made possible through the EAGE Student Fund. The
ESF is therefore happy to share the experiences of the students through this
Report TU Bergakademie Freiberg
The main purpose of getting profound insights into seismic hydrocarbon
and geothermal exploration
by means of vibrator trucks. In addition, the excursion also provided students the chance to experience the dimensions of industry
surveys and furthermore, to establish personal contacts to OMV and ask specific questions
regarding our field of expertise. The following morning, on Monday 26th November, our study
trip started in Strasshof. After an introduction and safety instructions we were led into
a workshop where defective geophones are repaired or simply recharged. As the geophones
do not transfer data in real time they have to be brought from the field to the workshop and
then manually read out. Each day quite a few terabytes of data are recorded so lots of memory
space is required.
A company presentation was given next and while enjoying some coffee and sweets
we found out more about the project: To ensure the security of gas supply in the future,
OMV performs seismic measurements north of Vienna as an extension of the survey area
already covered via 3D seismic earlier this year in Schönkirchen. Covering an area of 1,100 km2
it represents the largest seismic exploration in Austria so far.
Following the presentation, we moved out into the field by car to a geophone station
which consists of 12 or 24 in-line geophones that are permanently recording during working hours,
which are connected to a flash drive. In total, 720,000 geophones are placed around a perimeter
of several kilometres. Even at a distance of 4km they are able to detect seismic waves generated
by the fleet of vibro-trucks which we were allowed to visit next.
The most fascinating part of the field trip was witnessing the power such a vehicle can release
into the earth. Standing close by, it felt like an earthquake was rattling the ground beneath
our feet. Maximally four troops of three vibrators operate at least 400m apart with a
time delay of 20s. Using the slip-sweep technique almost 8km2 can be measured daily.
The target of this measurement were geological formations containing gas or hydrothermal fluids,
which are located at a depth between 4 and 6 km. At the same time, Peak Particle Velocity
measurements ensure a destruction-free exploration without damaging buildings.
Generally, OMV values Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) and respects the choices
After lunch, we stopped by at the Recording Truck. Each vibrator transmits its exact position
to the truck, so the coordinators know where the exploration crew is located and can give
proper instructions. Each measurement point is registered in their system so the progress
can be monitored.
The trip was concluded by a visit of the Noise Monitoring Truck. On a fixed line several geophones
record the noise triggered for example by a storm. These geophones transmit the data
instantly to the truck. That way a measurement can be put to a stop at once if the background
noise exceeds a certain level.
In the end we left OMV after a very exciting day. All in all, we received a lot of new information,
could ask specific questions and got an impression what it means to work for OMV.
As a part of our course of study in Freiberg, we regularly participate in smaller scale
seismic surveys and it was impressive to experience a seismic survey at such an enormous
scale. It allowed us to get insights into the industry’s ways of handling such a large project.
Many thanks to OMV for this interesting excursion and to our sponsors: EAGE Student Fund,
Verein Freunde und Förderer der TU Bergakademie (VFF) and TU Freiberg’s Institute of Geophysics!
Field work and the ESF
Throughout the course of the year, the EAGE Student Fund supports a
number of field
work projects. The fund is looking for new initiatives where a limited donation directly
helps with the realisation of the excursion.