Day Three Update | A Ghost Story at EAGE 2020

There is some interesting booth and forum activity remaining in the last two days, albeit also a 'spectral nightmare' when navigating the virtual conference platform. Andrew Long provides a commentary for day three of EAGE 2020.

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In the 2017 movie ‘A Ghost Story’, a ghost finds itself trapped in his home, its spectral state unstuck in time, and forced to passively watch as the life he knew slowly slips away. The ghost can see another ghost in the distance, similarly trapped in their home, but aside from watching each other from their windows, they are otherwise unable to communicate.

And so it is for booth managers at the virtual EAGE 2020 conference. For all companies, booth attendance seems consistently small so far. To jump between booths you must pursue a ponderous series of mouse clicks, exiting via the general conference lobby before finding a new booth via the exhibition page. Similarly, there is no way to view technical or forum presentations if you’re working on a booth. Like the ghost trapped in his house, the world goes on without you. At real conferences, the exhibition hall is a riotous place for eating and drinking and catching up with countless friends. This version truly is a spectral nightmare.

Has the EAGE killed the virtual conference format? If you’re happy to watch pre-recorded talks and watch a group of people sitting in their home trying to interact with a chairperson reading from a chat board then OK, but that also sounds like the workplace in 2020 doesn’t it? I expect anyone will think twice before putting their hand in their pocket to pay for exhibition space at similar events in the future.

But all is not lost, as there are some interesting booth and forum activity remaining in the last two days. So I hope those registered can ‘visit’ us today and liven things up!

Acquisition and Automation

PGS has three quite different acquisition-related presentations in the technical program today: The GeoStreamer X story in session ‘Seismic Acquisition – Sources and Receivers’; the latest testing of the eSeismic continuous wavefields method in session ‘Seismic Acquisition – Sources and Receivers’, and an insight in session ‘Multiple Imaging & Diffraction Modelling’ into how OBN receivers can be more flexibly deployed when complementary Full Wavefield Migration of primaries and multiples is used in imaging.

The eSeismic story is also presented at 4:15 PM CET on the PGS booth in today’s ‘Ask an Expert’ live Q&A session. eSeismic is a method that simultaneously significantly reduces the environmental footprint for marine seismic surveys, whilst providing a step improvement in the spatial sampling of the source wavefield. Please drop in to learn more.

And three quite different perspectives are presented in the technical program under the themes of machine learning, automation, and higher efficiency: A U-Net solution to attenuate migration artifacts in session ‘ML in Seismic Processing’; a Monte Carlo-based solution to rapidly and automatically produce high-resolution velocity models in session ‘Velocity Model Building’; and an elegant solution to estimate mixed phase wavelets without any well data or phase assumptions in session ‘Transforms and ML & Interpolation’.

I heard an ‘expert’ speaker claim yesterday that machine learning is ‘a very narrow subset of AI’. I guess that depends on how you define ML, but the three talks above show there are a lot of diverse opportunities ahead of us.

Talk to you tomorrow…