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Some exploration philosophies dictate "If it's not new--it's not good" when referring to seismic exploration data. Costs for new data acquisition have skyrocketed. With oil demand down, less money is available for exploration. Prudent exploration management judgment must now consider and use a variety of data sources. Existing seismic data (conventional or 100%) is a viable alternative. Ninety-five percent of exploration is for shallow, small structures. Conventional data is very effective at depths less than 15,000 ft (4,600 m), and its tight data grid allows for detailed exploration. Systems are in operation to enhance the 100% conventional data using modern computer technology. Data recorded in the early 1940s when enhanced by today's state-of-the-art technology, is co parable in many cases to recently acquired data costing as much as 100 times more; in some cases, the results are better. Considerable time, effort, and expense have gone into the acquisition of this mass of valid exploration data. It cannot replace modern CDP data in some areas, but it can complement many exploration activities while stretching exploration dollars.
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