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OMV successfully concludes Europe's largest seismic survey

  • OMV searches for gas with 3D seismic
  • Biggest onshore seismic survey in Europe with a total area of 1,500 km2
  • State-of-the-art technology facilitates record data measurement

OMV, the international, integrated oil and gas company headquartered in Vienna, has successfully concluded the largest 3D seismic survey in European history. It was searching for natural gas. Specifically, the measurements probe the geologic subsurface to depths of up to 6,000 meters and provide information on the composition of structures that may contain gas.

A large-scale area of 1,500 km2 was examined, stretching from the northeast of Vienna to Weinviertel, Lower Austria, and southwest of the Danube. The survey spanned nine months in the period from December 2017 to March 2019 – natural protection laws and consideration of farming activities meant that the seismic acquisition was carried out exclusively in the winter months.

The survey involved a total of 140,000 geophone stations with two million individual geophones overall. Geophones register and record sound waves reflected by geologic boundaries.

This nodal system was paired with another technology, newly applied in Austria and known as the Slip-Sweep method, which made this highly efficient operation possible. During the 3D seismic acquisition, four fleets of three seismic vibrators were in action. These vehicles produce waves that are reflected by geologic boundaries and captured by geophones back on the surface. On earlier seismic projects, around 150 vibration points were measured each day, i.e. vibrations were generated at 150 points. During this survey, a maximum of 1,200 of these points was achieved.

Johann Pleininger, Executive Board member responsible for Upstream and Deputy Chairman of OMV: "This 3D seismic campaign has enabled OMV to generate data of around 700 terabytes – which puts us in the running as a digital frontrunner and forms a basis for future discoveries. A total of around 250 people were involved in the project. Together they put in more than 500,000 working hours, all without a single incident. Safety is the top priority within OMV as every employee needs to get home safe and sound."

Now the seismic survey has been successfully completed, it's time to evaluate the data. This will result in a three-dimensional picture of the subsurface, which helps the OMV experts to discover possible gas reservoirs.

At present OMV produces around 10% of the gas consumed in Austria.

Background information:

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of more than 20,000 employees in 2018, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Upstream, OMV has a strong base in Romania and Austria as part of the Central and Eastern Europe core region as well as a balanced international portfolio, with Russia, North Sea, Middle East and Africa as well as Asia-Pacific as further core regions. 2018 daily production stood at approximately 427,000 boe/d. In Downstream, OMV operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 mn tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. OMV runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany; its subsidiary Gas Connect Austria GmbH operates a gas pipeline network in Austria. In 2018, gas sales volumes amounted to around 114 TWh. Sustainability is an integral part of the corporate strategy. OMV is set to invest EUR 500 mn in innovative energy solutions by 2025.