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To reduce the risks involved in exploratory drilling, seismic surveys are done to gather data for 3D models used to understand the size and location of oil fields (or squeeze more oil out of existing reservoirs). The oil company wanted to reduce the costs of seismic surveys and improve the quality of information gathered. The client asked IBM Research to work on an application that would help optimize the position of seismic explosions and receivers for seismic survey design. IBM Research's solution involves using an object-oriented approach, an improved analytical model and an unstructured mesh instead of a fixed grid for interpreting results. The solution is a more accurate, flexible and robust approach to the calculations required for seismic survey design.
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