With the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium lifted, the industry is cautiously attempting to regroup and get back to business as usual. But the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) hopes that complacency won’t replace proactiveness when it comes to managing increased regulation and ensuring safe operations.

In a statement released at last week’s Society of Exploration Geophysicists annual meeting, the IAGC issued a statement noting that while the oil and gas industry recognizes the value of geophysical technology in reducing or eliminating environmental risks associated with drilling, regulators and governments might not, and this could affect changes to the current regulatory regime. “They could unnecessarily punish our industry in their rush to act,” the statement reads.

To respond to this concern, the association is launching a communications initiative aimed at reminding governments and the public of the importance of oil and gas and to educate them on how the industry can reduce risk by using geophysical technologies throughout the exploration and production cycle.

“The geophysical service sector utilizes seismic and other technologies to provide the empirical measurements that enable responsible oil and gas extraction to occur with a more complete understanding of the conditions in the earth’s interior,” the statement reads. “One clear solution to further reduce the risk of drilling involves high-resolution imaging that geophysical technology provides.”

In addition to current techniques, pore pressure methods could be more rigorously applied, the statement notes, and a wider use of microseismic fracture monitoring would help protect aquifers. Ultimately, broader applications of these techniques would lead to lower energy prices “as resources and deliverability are enhanced.”

Members of the geophysical community are asked to provide case studies showing how their technology is part of the de-risking solution. For more information, e-mail Chip Gill at chipgill@iagc.org.