Electrical Marine Vibrator

Marine vibrators may offer a potential alternative to air guns.  Using a rapid mechanical displacement of water the shell of the vibrator changes its volume slightly. This may be an attractive option for limited ultra-low frequencies, in environmentally sensitive areas, and in very shallow water areas where traditional sources can be difficult to deploy.

Electrical Marine Vibrator Sources

PGS first developed a novel and unique all-electric marine vibrator design in the late-1990s. This development work has culminated in the design of several a vibrator alternatives, including a joint industry project established in 2014 between ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and PGS. None has yet been commercialized. These competing design ideas include large units with relatively small water displacement and smaller units with large water displacement. Frequency ranges of the emitted source wavefield start low (3-10 Hz) and extend up to several kilohertz. 

The Common Denominator

The PGS marine vibrator concepts share common goals of emitting sweep energy over the same frequency range as air guns, but with potentially significant advantages of operating at levels with much less environmental impact, They also provide various opportunities for operations in shallow water, for ‘dispersed source’ configurations, and for improving survey efficiency.

Recent industry focus on the benefits of ultra-low frequencies (2-8 Hz) for optimized full waveform inversion (FWI) has also generated concept designs for marine vibrators that explicitly target such applications. PGS is a trusted partner in these initiatives, based on over 25 years R&D experience with the development of marine vibrator concepts.