Archiving and Sharing Legacy Exploration Seismic Data: Opportunities and Challenges
Over the past 60+ years, an enormous amount of exploration geophysics survey data has been collected around the globe, the majority of which is high-quality 2D and 3D seismic data acquired by the petroleum energy industry. Much of this ‘legacy’ data still has significant commercial value today and in the future, for hydrocarbon exploration, gas storage (methane, helium, hydrogen…), groundwater, minerals, CO2 sequestration, geothermal, and other purposes. However, there is likely a subset of this exploration data that is of little further commercial value, but may be of immense value to academic, government and industry researchers, for example. This may include very long 2D seismic lines recorded in frontier exploration areas which turned out to be non-prospective; for example along convergent margin subduction zones or major continental tectonic fault zones, which are absent of major sedimentary basins. Shared access to this subset of legacy data would provide an extremely useful opportunity and resource for academic researchers and others, much as shared earthquake data via the IRIS network has revolutionized our understanding of earthquakes, faults and tectonics.