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Processing Processing


The direct National implementation of the seismic surveys within the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) by its Crews began already in 1970 when the first seismic crew started surveying the Ratawi area at Basra Governorate. In the same year, this important phase was accompanied by another complementary phase, which is carrying out seismic data processing works using Analogue PCZ-4 data processing system. The processing department was established on 25/10/1970 at the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) center in Baghdad.

The seismic data processing work continued on this device until the end of the first quarter of 1975 , when INOC's plan was drawn up to expand the exploration activities carried out by the INOC, which is accompanied by an expansion of the processing work.

After the paradigm shift in the field recording techniques that occurred in 1974 when the field recording technique (acquisition data) was replaced from analogue recording to digital recording, the same development occurred in the processing systems. The analogue processing system was replaced by a TIMAP digital computer system, which was also enrichment during 1978 with same type of TIMAP, in order to keep up with strong impetus of seismic surveys, which increased by increased of the seismic crew's number at that time.

The INOC's plan included the use of advanced field equipment and modern computers and software for seismic data processing. In the first quarter of 1975, a modern digital computers was installed in the INOC center. The number of crews recorded data that were processed during 1978 became (14) seismic crews, including (7) Iraqi and (6) foreign crews, while (3) seismic crews data were processed outside Iraq.

INOC's Five-year plan (1980-1985) was drawn up to expand exploration activities, accompanied by an expansion of seismic data processing. Among the most important of what was stipulated in this plan in nationalized all seismic information, as this means that all seismic data in terms of processing and interpretation will take place inside Iraq. This is an important strategic goal to maintain the confidentiality of data related to the potential hydrocarbon geological structures.

At the summer of 1986, a more advanced computer (VAX11/780) was installed in terms of processing speed and the ability to store data. Later, during 1988, two TIMAP computers were updated.

During 1989, the Oil Exploration Company (OEC) decided to introduce 3D seismic survey technology in its three phases: Data acquisition, processing, and interpretation to the company's production activity.

For this decision, working teams was formed from the technical departments to study the issue and negotiate with international companies supplying devices, equipment and software. Indeed, the OEC was able to sign three contracts with international companies to supply the requirements of the three phases by the end of 1989, on the basis that the project would be launched in the middle of 1990 .

The field crew was equipped and started operating. the choice was made to survey Balad oil field, which was under Evaluation and Development. However, the requirements of the middle phase which are computers and software specialized in 3D processing data were not supplied by the contractor due to the events of August 1990, and the imposition of the economic embargo on Iraq.

The processing system (computers and software) was withheld and was not equipped, forcing the processing officials to use the available system at that time (Disco 3D) , which was purchased at the time along with the computer (Vax/780) during 1986 , which was updated in 1989. It was decided to use it to process seismic data as a must for the sustainability of the project's work. the processing of the 3D seismic data of the Balad region began in mid-July 1990.

After the year 2003, the seismic data processing department was developed. This developments included hardware, software and human resources, and it became supported by a number of modern processing programs such as: Geovation Software Suite from CGG, The OMEGA seismic processing system from WesternGeco and Echos software suite from Paradigm as well as the VISTA software from Schlumberger for VSP data processing.

The processing department is one of the important departments in the Oil Exploration Company (OEC), where it carries out Reprocessing of 2D seismic data (legacy paper and digital data) and processing newly recorded 2D and 3D seismic data by using available modern processing technique, As well as processing of Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) data to provide the best results to clarifying a subsurface geological image of formations and structures. These are done through a sequence of geophysical processes to reach a seismic data output (2D seismic sections, 3D seismic volumes) prepared for interpretation phase and geophysical studies.


The following processing procedures can be performed in the seismic processing department:

  1. Reprocessing legacy seismic data with the latest technology and applying a modern processing methodology.
  2. Processing current 2D and 3D seismic data (time domain)
  3. Amplitude-preserved data processing to support amplitude variation with offset (AVO) analysis related to gas explorations studies and stratigraphic traps.
  4. Velocity model building and Pre Stack Depth Migration (PSDM) for 2D and 3D seismic data.
  5. Processing of Vertical seismic profile data (Far offset and Zero offset).

The department consists of two divisions:

  1. 2D and 3D depth processing: It performs the tasks of processing and reprocessing 2D lines, and processing 3D seismic data. It consists of two units:-
  • 3D depth processing unit.
  • 2D processing unit.


  1. 2D and 3D Time processing: It performs the tasks of processing and 2D, and 3D seismic data. It consists of two units:-
  • Advanced processing unit.
  • 2D and 3D seismic Unit.


  • Vertical seismic profile (VSP) unit: It processes vertical seismic profile data (Far offset and Zero offset).