Passive Low Frequency Seismic (LFS) Technology

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7 Deploys

De-risk the drilling of exploration and appraisal wells by delineating hydrocarbon

Page last modified
February 22 2024

LFS technology is based on analysing spectral properties of low frequency between 0 – 10Hz of natural background seismic that changes above oil and gas deposits. LFS can be used to evaluate the spatial spread and distribution of CO2 in the reservoir. The technology has already been applied extensively to different geological and geographical situations, wherein the success ratio in solving tasks of hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration is over 85%. To date over 126 projects are completed with a total researched area of 1133.5 sq. km. Notably, in 95 wells utilising the LFS method, 81 wells confirmed the anticipated forecast with 28 wells roducing commercial hydrocarbons from the carbonate reservoirs, and 35 wells producing from terrigenous reservoirs.


  • The LFS technology is used to solve a wide range of geological and technological problems across a variety of operations. The technology is easily applied, cost-effective and environmentally friendly across a spectra of operations from the onshore to offshore domain.
  • The method can be applied in prospecting, surveying and delineating the presence of hydrocarbons, optimising exploration targets and in production drilling. TenzorGEO have also leveraged on its high precision imaging capacity to offer a means of surveying CO2 plumes in subsurface storage operations.
  • LFS offers flexibility where conventional practices would not be an option for example due to block size, active seismic waves, energy penetration issues, budget limitations, accessibility and/or environmental restrictions.

Physical Theory

  • LFS is a passive seismic method that utilises abnormal low-frequency seismic reflection from hydrocarbon deposits or fluids such as CO2 which possess similar spectral properties. LFS is based on analysing the spectral properties of low-frequency P- waves in the range of 0.5 – 10 Hz. The waves are derived from passive or naturally occurring seismic signals, which are modified in the presence of oil and gas deposits.
  • The occurrence of anomalous reflection from hydrocarbon deposits is associated with significant differences in the physical properties of hydrocarbons and water, such as compressibility, absorption, as well as due to the multiphase nature of the medium in the reservoir strata. Due to the mechanics of fluid-saturated, fractured and porous media, oil and gas reservoirs have high dispersion of velocity and high attenuation at low frequencies. A thin layer of oil/gas reservoir is characterised by high attenuation that reflects low-frequency P-waves, for this reason, it transforms the Amplitude-Frequency Characteristic of the media into an observational point in which TenzorGEO’s highly sensitive equipment can identify. This makes it possible to identify oil and gas deposits using observations from the surface by highly sensitive low-frequency equipment and the appropriate processing and interpretation software.
  • The effect of spectral differences within hydrocarbons has been proven and traced in various regions the world over within a variety of geological and geophysical settings.
Pros & Limitations
Provides important information to operators regarding the Identification of non-structural hydrocarbon deposits
Offshore - The deployment of the technology does not require the use of a specialized vessel.
The method is highly efficient, for example, assuming a survey area of 30 with 300-400 observation points, processing can be complete in only two months (i.e. 1 month for data acquisition and 1 month for processing and interpretation)
Environmentally friendly, unlike other seismic methods, LFS does not require a noise source such as explosions. Furthermore there is not a need for infrastructure such as wells and drilling equipment or even the use of chemicals as seen elsewhere
Can be used to identify bypassed hydrocarbons and sweet spots that are within proximity of qualifying assets
Requires prior data to be of good quality, such as VSPs, isochore maps. Prior data is used to build velocity model used for numerical simulation
Specification Title Specification Description
Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) used to acquire passive seismic data offshore
The OBS is an ultra-low power broadband seismometer (100sec to 200Hz), a hydrophone (125 sec to 100hz) deployed offshore to water depths of up to 6000 meters
Numerical modeling
Allows calculating multi-variant models of the geological environment in resolutions of up to 1m in 2D version and up to 10m in 3D. Calculations are carried out 30-200 times faster as when compared to the single-core 3GHZ Intel processor.
In-house software package for processing of low-frequency passive seismic data
The software package is built on three-level architecture. All resource-intensive calculations are installed within the application server and implemented on the basis of J2EE technology.
All available information may be graphically visualised at any stage of processing. Visualisation includes plots, maps and 3D models.


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Technology Readiness Level


Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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TenzorGEO specialises in the acquisition and interpretation of passive seismic data. Providing integrated end-to-end geophysical solutions to some of industry’s major subsurface challenges.

Our specialist team and systems provide a service that could benefit nearly all subsurface geoscience-based study.

Our purpose is to boost productivity and performance by considering efficiency and sustainability outcomes in everything we do. We relentlessly focus on achieving technological excellence and innovation, transforming our clients’ asset management and advancing industry geophysical standards.

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