Seismic Data Processing – Design And Implementation Of Computerized Information Management System

Seismic Data Processing – Design And Implementation Of Computerized Information Management System: (A Case Study Of Integrated Data Services Limited, Benin-city)

Seismic Data Processing – Design And Implementation Of Computerized Information Management System: (A Case Study Of Integrated Data Services Limited, Benin-city)


In order to throw more light on the subject matter of this study, some review were made. It has been known by geologist / geophysicist, that hydrocarbons can only be found in sedimentary Basis, these basin are generally of main origin.

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As these sediments were been formed they also trapped with them the various micro and macro organisms in the ocean. These sediments Basin could be as deep as 15Km or more. Thus these organisms which are primarily made up of the organic molecules (carbon and hydrogen molecules)are trapped at great depth under high pressure and temperature. Under these conditions over some millions of years ago these organisms get cooked into hydrocarbon (oil and gas primarily).

These hydrocarbons being lighter than the surrounding rocks will always accumulate at the highest point of any layer in which they are trapped obeying the laws of hydrostatics.

In general seismic means shock or acoustic ware or signal reflected back to the earth surface a means is devised to locate the place beneath the earth so that the drilling effort will not be were guesswork.

Seismic data acquisition is the first stage in the search for hydrocarbon. In other words the search for hydrocarbon here helps us to know the prospect areas so that we don’t drill a false prospect. There are many geophysical methods at the moment for the investigations of the subsurface. The method to be employed depends on what is being looked for.

For petroleum and gas exploration, seismic method is mostly commonly used. Before acquisition starts the energy sources receives arrays and energy of recording, instruments are normally taken into consideration some of the commonly need sources are dynamites, thumper, vibrissa etc.

Coffen (1980) states for seismic data acquisition to be effective, there is therefore need to have an appropriate field techniques at hand before it starts”.

However with the advent of computer, seismic data processing are now done with computer in data processing centers remotes from the acquisition crew. This was essentially because early computers were very large and difficult to deploy and as such were sited at control locations. Seismic data processing is that part of the exploration which links the field acquisition to the interpreter. Before the introduction of the tape recording in the late 1950’s the seismic recording was a photographic recording with geophone oscillations represented as a wiggle trace.

In the 1950’s machine were developed which permitted some composition from records which were now recorded as “variable area” rather than “ wiggle trace”.

Following recent advancement in technology and the evolution of micro electronics and mini – authorization, mini – computers and work stations are now being used for seismic data processing since most of them are as powerful as the mainframe computers when they are networked. Tape recording was introduced at about the same time and forms of starting were developed together with simple frequency filtering and compact photographic presentation.

As the industry began to realize the power of the techniques being developed in statistical communication theory, the need for computer based technology became apparent and digital recording and associated processing rapidly replaced old methods.

By late 1960’s most survey’s that became digitally recorded. On effect of the digit revolution was that the processing needed a digital computer and these were only available in large centers remote from the acquisition crew.

All digital processing system presently in use, both of the mini variety and main frame have similar capability. They may differ in speed however and their sige will depend on the particular demands of the user.

Seismic data is job related information and is usually very expensive to acquire and sometimes acquired in hazardous environment or from hostile communities and as such care is usually taken to ensure that correct it information are gotten and properly managed.

This seismic data processing will be more successful when the basic material that is the field record are of good qudity. Disturbances systematically or randomly can be avoided or reduced by applying appropriate field techniques.

Large (Vol 2 1981) State, “without proper quality information control, seismic data exploration is nothing” ”n effect information from the field must be pressured and protected form destruction.

As said earlier care is usually taken to ensure that these tapes are neither damaged by being broken nor by environmental conditions.

Terry Rowan in his book, managing with computers, aptly summarized the need to use computer for processing information in these words.

“By and large, the output from most computer systems will reflect what was available under clerical procedures but with the added advantages arising from the computers ability to search, sort, manipulate, and lest large volume of data and high speeds”

In conclusion, the above review of literature has summarized the need to use computer (EDP) in the information management of seismic data processing.


In the process of gathering data for the study both primary and secondary sources were explored.

The primary source comprises of an oral interview of the beneficiaries of using computer as a tool in seismic data acquisition and processing, clients, management as well as members of the public articles, journals, internet, library and some appropriate text books and also handbooks and other relevant document of oil companies were used.


During my research I have to visit the firm under study which is the integrated Data service Limited (IDSL) of which I made some observations on;

1. Examining their recording system both manual and electronic data processing.

2. Discussion with the management and the seismologist personnel.

3. Data security was also examined.

After the stay I also made some observations from the following.

i. several books recently published on various aspect of seismic data acquisition and processing.

ii. From the school library.

iii. From the internet.

At the end not all data collected were treated.


The firm in question IDSL formerly known as Nigeria Hydrocarbon Reserve Evaluation Center (NHREC) was commissioned in 1986 by the then chief of general staff commodore Ebitu Ukire, but was later changed to the current name IDSL by general Ibrahim Babangida in 1988. It is a subsidiary of (N. N. P. C). the operation of the company has been divided along major aspects of companies business which are:

i. Seismic data acquisition

ii. Seismic data processing

iii. Geological Interpretation

iv. Reservoir Engineering services

v. Reservoir Evacuation

vi. Storage /Archival facilities

vii. Software development.

The traces can be summed together to make one and the process is referred to as STACKING. M1, m, m3, m4 and m5 must be put in phase by removing the delays due to variance in travel path lines, the process is called NORMAL MALEOUT (NMO) or DYNAMIC CORRECTION.

The process of DECONVOLUTION (or INVERST FILTERING) is to INVERT the earth filtering effect in other to achieve an optimum resolution of the various subsurface sedimentary segnences.

The WAVE EQUATION MIGRATION is the final step in the processing sequence and can be done either before or after STACKING of the CMP traces though it is a time consuming process because it is the accurate locating of the hydrocarbon resources by the geophysicist.


At the end of this process, the processed data is written on a magnetic storage device in a FORMAT requested by the client and set to the client. Along with it also is sent a PROJECT REPORT which may contain some of the following information.

– History of the Data

– Test and choice of processing parameters

– The results of the analysis and justification for reaching those results.

Classification of output tapes

1. unused tapes

2. client tapes (unformatted)

3. Internal data tapes.

Unused tapes: These are tapes in the store and they are used internally especially for replenishment.

CLIENT TAPES: These are the field tapes on the seismic data tapes usually in the external format. These tape from the client, from it field are sent to the processing center still in their standardized format.

INTERNAL DATA TAPES: When the client or the seismic data tapes are sent to the processing center in this standardized external format. It has to be reformatted to a for assessable by the computer. At the end of the reformatting the field tapes are sut to the store and the internal working formatted tapes are used for processing.


The new design can be done in either of two forms which are formal specification and informal spe.

Informal specification is a literature work which explains the function and constraints involved in the development of the software.

Formal specification associates abstract components to the services set out in the requirement definition.

But in this work some formal specification which are preferred to this work are:

1. Interface specification which involves specifying the input/output constraints which define the function of the software components.

2. Operational specification which unlike the interface specification deals with the computation required to transform the input to the output.

We have to know that the main aim of this specification is to define what functions these software should do rather then actually carrying out the operations.


It consists of the overall recording of output files forms and records and safeguards over them

Specification includes:

– Design of tape total reconciled with overall processing control reports.

– Control totals on related output are reconciled with each other and with master file control totals.

– Data file tapes are calculated on a perisalic basis by computer tape management program software.


It is necessary to consider what is required from the system by deciding how to set about producing it.

In this work the output are: tape Number Row number, column number, project tittle, data taken use and operators names.

Nature of the tape : date created, rank number, confirmation entry.


The input specifications are:-

– Insist on a high caliber of coding check.

– Grouping in put documents into batches and control totals for each batch.

– Critical records are cancelled after entry.

– All input is reviewed for use department approval before acceptance by the department.


After going through the output requirement and data to be retained in the system on tape some data have to be entered into the computer.

We have to know that then input is done through the keyboard and the result is displayed on the screen.

After inputting the data in the computer the output on the screen is shown below:-







For each options there are still different information or data to be keyed in eg, when option tape data is chosen there are still other information about it.



This is the input program for the tape data and it creates a tape data file on the disk, all new records are entered through here.



The file design returns to the organization of logically related records that make up file. There are essentially 3 types of file structure which are.

1. Sequential

2. Indexed sequential

3. Random access.

In the course of this work the design system requires the random access mode.

The file design for all input files shows the name of the file, field name, filed type, field width/length and dermal part numeric field.

The actual design system using flowchart, procedure chart and program flowchart will be show.


Procedures are physical components because they are provided in a physical form such as manuals and instruction booklet.

The three major procedures required are :

– user instruction

– Instruction for preparation of input

– Operating instructions for the computer personnel.


The requirements involves both the hardware and software.

Hardware requirements.

The computers used in seismic processing centers are usually mainframes (large cp) with high computing power. An example of such is the convex computer system. The latest of which is SPP1200 –16X ASCALABLE with CPU’S of 2 gigabytes of memory and capable of expansion to 128 CPU’S.

Other types of computers needed are concurrent computers, 1BM and Lax mainframe. In which the secondary memory will be made up of 6 gigabytes disks including tapes and cartridges.

Other system will include two main consoles, one for the operating system and the other for seismic subsystem. The standard operating temperature will be between 180C – 210C humidity. The cooling system will be taken care of by 18 tones air conditional up flow 10 tones air conditioned down flow and two medium air conditioners.

Software requirement

The software engineering approach will be used to construct this system. The software engineering principles makes the computer language represent a time and concise solution to the problem. It generalizes the way of writing a software. The programming language that will be used for this system is the Q BASIC, thus the system need to be provided with a Q BASIC computer.


The programs are written based on the design of the system. The programs are written using Q BASIC and because of the menu facility the whole system in menu driven.

The system is made up of module which are linked together. Each module does a particular task. The first is to identify the user to the system. The second module is to output a text introducing the system to the user.


The program is designed to carryout the following functions:

1. It will create a database on tape information

2. It will display tape information

3. It will also maintain the track of tape movement

4. It will also consist of a set of program routine

– creation of data record

– deletion of data record

– insertion of data record

– sorting of data record

– backup of data

the different sub-programs are as follows











The system was thoroughly tested and found to give expected results. There are three sources of test data:

1. Data prepared by program

2. Made up data

3. Line cases supplied by user

The line case data supplied was used for forty tapes. It should be noted that error free system does not imply the correctness or perfection of the system.

Types of tests carried out on the tape store management:

1. function test:

Each unit was tested individually and independently of other s and found to be by free.

2. Module testing:

Two or more functions were tested together and also no errors were found.

3. system testing:-

The whole system was tested and of course errors were detected and debugged, finally the whole system worked.

Note: This doesn’t mean that the whole system is error free.


This is the detailed description of the proposed system. It is important in understanding the new system and for future reference.

Here, how to use the system is described, why it was written, the technique of its construction and the system operation.

The name of this system is TAPE STORE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

AIM: To provide a means through tape number tape title, user and any other data which is compatible with the way tapes are really stored on the rack so that the tape required will be found at once, thus help with easy and quick retrieval.

The personnel required for this system to be installed and to be operated are:-

A computer professional either in-house or external consultant as the case may be.

In the case of in-house computer professional, the firm will employ him as part of its staff, the work is to attain to problems which the librarian cannot solve and also to carryout maintenance work on the system from time to time to avoid immediate breakdown. In case of the external consultant, his service is called in when the need arise.

Tape Liberian who is the database administrator must be given computer training before and after the installation, for him to be able to operate the system, otherwise it will be different for him.

The system could be programmed using any data processing language such as COBOL PASCAL ETC but the programming is done using Q BASIC because of flexibility in data manipulation and other facilities for designing screen and form.

As for the computer hardware a micro-computer such as HYNDAI, IBM etc could serve the requirement. A single line printer is needed.

The technique of the system construction is such that the system was designed to have different sub-programs and each have a definite function unquiet it. The following are the different sub-programs and there functions.

1. TAPE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: This consists of the main menu from which all other program are called.

2. TAPE DATA PROGRAM: This is an input program for the tape data, and it creates a tape data file on the disk, all new records are entered here. It issues the master file.

3. TAPE INQUIRY PROGRAM: Inquiring menu to the database, if tape is in database, then there is a response showing the tape data and location, creates quecy file.

4. SEARCH PROGRAM: It searchers the database for the required information and updates data base with quecy data.

5. RESULT PROGRAM: Displays results on screen concerning tapes requested for.

6. MANAGER PROGRAM: This contains the menu for the database management.

7. EDIT PROGRAM: Used for editing a database i.e it deletes and adds new records.

8. SORT PROGRAM: Sort a data base

9. LIST PROGRAM: Printing a database.

NOTE: PROGRAMS (6) – (9) are meant to be used by the tape librarian who will be the Database Administrator.

The database should provide a means through user real number, tape number, tape title, row, column, rack number which are compatible with the way the tapes are stored.

To use this system the tape librarian will here to take note of all the tapes that are passed to him after processing.

The forms to be used for this system that is input form will come form the processing department or section.

After data acquisition and at the end of data processing the processing geologist/geophysicist will toward the tape containing a particular information to the tape library along with the following information concerning the tape:

– The title of the project contained on the tape

– The data the data was collected and stored

– The length of record on the tape.

The nature of the tape i.e Bad or Good (the tape librarian will still have to confirm this before accepting the tape). With the above information, the tape librarian can then input into the system the necessary data for future retrieval of tape.

It is the duty of the tape librarian to assign the following data to each tape sent to him:

– Row number

– Rack number

– Tape number

– Data created

– Tape nature.

With the above registered into the system, the system is set for operation, any tape can be requested and sent to the user at once.

The installation of this system will be done by the computer professional not the tape librarian. The installation is done by copying the program into the hard disk of computer system using the following command.

The hard disk drive is different from the diskette drive, so since the program is stored on the diskette before copying, the following must be done in order to charge the drive.

TYPE C:/A: Press >key

It displays A:/

Which means that it has change to drive A which is the diskette drive,

At the c prompt i.e C:/

Type in CD/QBASIC press > key

This will display C:/QBASIC>

Then type in Edu .bas

Edu is the name used for saving the program the above will automatically copy i.e install the program into the system.

For retrieval of the program the user will then types

This will display or list the entire program to execute the program type in:

The operation of this system is like this:

The early part of the program will introduce you to the author. Then the display of the various options that made up the program.


The selection is done by pressing the arrow key

1. If it gets to the option desired the enter key is pressed and the information contain in the option selected will be displayed.

The task done by the options have been described earlier so depending on the task to be done the selection is made according. E.g if the arrow key is placed on the TAPE DATA the following will be displayed on the screen when the enter key is pressed.


The above instructions will allow the tape librarians to enter new entries into the system in other words to update the system database.

To obtain information about a particular tape more the arrow key to TAPE INQUIRY and press enter key it will display.

On keying in the tape unber you want to inquire it will display the information contain on it.

If the tape number entered cannot be found it will display on the screen


And so on.

Note: at the end of the processing to leave the screen entirely, it must be done through the x to QUIT if not it will display


Lastly, one thing I must mention here is the each of the data to be entered about a particular entry has the field length and type unique to it,

With the above, a librarian can now get his within a matter of few seconds by just pressing some few keys on his computer and walking directly to where the tape is kept without stress.


Based on the findings of this research the following recommendations have been put toward.

Environmental conditions has been proved to be too harsh to the tapes if exposed. It is recommended that care should be taken to ensure that the field tapes are neither damaged by being broken nor destroyed by environmental conditions.

I also recommend that the tapes should be stored on racks and carefully labelled to slow clients projects as this will help to reduce over existing of tapes if not eliminated entirely.

There is the means of security and confidentiality required by the client for oil related data that is why I recommend the use of ”PASSWORD” which only a few people / persons concered should have access to it all the time.

The atmosphere in which the tape is stored is also recommended by the writer, saying that the tape storage must confirm with the acceptable temperature and humidity level of 65 –750F and 45% -55% respectively to avoid destruction of tapes by other heat.

The writer also recommends that there should not be any magnetic item around the tapes storage area so that the input/output written on the tape are not changed.

The written also recommend, that all tapes that have not being need for a period of 3-4 yrs must be regenerate periodically otherwise they will be destroyed.

Recommendation is made to all seismic data processing centers to have there tape management system computerized which will keep tracks of the field tapes, processing tapes and archival tapes. Archival tapes contains final seismic sections or with inter mediate output that may be specific or required by the client for long time stored tapes archiving.

Finally, the writer strongly recommends that the system should be maintained from time to time. And if there is any problem which the in-house computer professional could not tackle the services of a external professional will be needed to avoid further spreading of the problem to the detriment of other system in use.


From the research study, the writer made the following conclusions.

The decision to carry out an assignment depends on the information available to the manager and the confidence the manger has in the source of information. It must therefore be as accurate as possible.

The vital ingredients for effective information apart from accuracy must also include uniformity, timeline reliability, clearness and it must be prompt transmitted to the recipient. It must at sometime be relevant to the specific are of activity. It is known that the procurement of information with all these qualities in usually difficult especially with the use of manual and mechanical data processing system, this method are more susceptible to frauds. I discovered that many factors that contributes to this though some factors has greater influence than others.

Not necessary because the manager or operating does not know what he requires but in cases because of the sheer voluace of data that must be processed and on which important decisions would be based.

The amount of data that must be examined and the manual / mechanicla method of storage (Carbinet) has had to a slow rate of processing. The writter discovered that the consequences of this slow rate of processing are that jobs are now delayed beyound acceptable limits due to delays experienced, this affecting decisions at the various levels of operations activities.

In recent times, more attempts are being made to acquire more reliable, urgent and up-to-date information through the computers. It has been proved that only a computerized data processing system can stand the capabilities of modern seismic data acquisition and processing. Moreover, the system follows the same basic pattern it has found to be easy to progress from simple hard writtern (manual) systems through the medicinal processing to the use of computers.

Computers are therefore the justificable alternative to an otherwise slow, fraud, dominated manual information processing system.

In conclusion, I would say that I found that work very interesting, though it was very demady and stressful but the aim was achieved.

A librarian can now get his tapes written in a matter of few seconds by just pressing some few keys in his computer and walking directly to where the tape is kept without stress.

All library activities should be computerized for the obvious reasons mentioned earlier on.


In this work, I considered it necessary to define the basic terms used in the work as this will enhance the understanding of this study by other people who are not in this field, or who may wish to join the field:

The definition of the terms are as follows:

Information: processed data

Data : Raw information

The observer: the person that handles the recording equipment and procedures.

Aconstic impendance: product of the rock velocity and density.

Seismic : this is an instrument used in recording the strength, luraton and distance away of earthquikis.

Seismic date: Raw data acquired through geological exploration activities.

Seismic section: final output of a processed field.

Seismicity: the likehood of an area being subject to natural earthquakes.

Seismic survey: a program for mapping geological structures by creating seismic ware and observing the arrival time of the waves reflected from acoustic impedance contrast.

Seismiologist: on Based in seismic principles such as required in oil exploration or earthquakes analysis.

Seismic section: final output a processed field.

Geophone: is an instrument used during seismic operations to receive response form beneath the earth surface. So it can be called a receiver.

Exporatory wells: these wells are usually the first, chilled in an are to confirm the presence of hydrocarbons. They are also called wild cats.

Appraisal wells: these wells are drilled after success.

Development wells : these are drilled to produce the field with an optimum drainage of the reservour.

Computer : a devise used for imputing data, for processing and for writing out information as output.

Backing store: this is necessary because of the size of the main memory. Any data which cannot be stored into memory can be written into the backing store.

Input/output unit: these are used for getting data or information in or out of the computer.

Peripheral unit: these are things connected to the computer which are not part of the CPU of the used display unit, printer and keyboard.

Analogue computer: used to perform specific jobs they store information as physical varables.

Digital computers: are much flexible, all standard scientific and business computer and digital, they are represented by numerical quantities.

Trace: the data received at any particular receiver at a given station on a given channel of the recording equipment.

Spread: the station 1 –n (say 1-12) in which receiver are placed for a single recording.

Seismic Data Processing – Design And Implementation Of Computerized Information Management System: (A Case Study Of Integrated Data Services Limited, Benin-city)

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183

Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  


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