Top Global Companies for Seismic Acquisition: 2D Seismic Data Interpretation and Basin Analysis

The global seismic acquisition market is witnessing significant growth, valued at a remarkable USD 9127.45 million in 2021, and is forecasted to escalate to USD 12221.79 million by 2027, demonstrating a sturdy CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period [1].

This upsurge is propelled by the increasing demand for oil and gas coupled with the advanced energy requirements globally [2]. Notably, North America emerges as the largest region, commanding the seismic survey market in 2023, while notable advancements in seismic technologies, especially the transition towards 3D seismic surveys, further underscore pivotal market trends [2].

In the realm of seismic acquisition and processing, the market is segmented by diverse applications such as oil and gas, incorporating types like seismic acquisition services and seismic processing services across various regions [3]. With technology classifications extending to 2D, 3D, and 4D imaging and services bifurcated into data acquisition, data processing, and data interpretation, the market is poised for expansion, aiming to surge from USD 20.88 billion in 2022 to an estimated USD 30.15 billion by 2030 [4]. This growth trajectory is fueled by the seismic technology’s critical application in brownfield projects, shale gas development, and the burgeoning oil and gas demand, alongside technological advancements revitalizing the seismic sector [4].


CGG SA stands as a beacon in the seismic acquisition and geoscience sector, offering a comprehensive suite of services and solutions that cater to the intricate demands of subsurface exploration and analysis [5]. Their offerings are diverse and include:

  • Subsurface Imaging and Geological Services: Specializing in ocean bottom node (OBN) data, CGG SA provides unparalleled subsurface imaging capabilities. Additionally, their geological services encompass a wide range of data types such as seismic, geologic, legacy, and environmental data, all accessible through a cloud-based platform [5].
  • Sensing & Monitoring and Digital Solutions: From structural monitoring to underwater acoustics, CGG SA delivers cutting-edge sensing and monitoring solutions. Their digital prowess is evident in their high-performance computing (HPC) & cloud solutions, data transformation, and machine learning services, ensuring clients receive top-tier data as a service [5].
  • Strategic Partnerships and Global Operations: CGG SA’s strategic exit from marine acquisition, through a partnership with Shearwater GeoServices and the creation of a joint venture under the Sercel brand, highlights its commitment to innovation in marine streamer seismic acquisition equipment. Operating globally, CGG SA addresses complex challenges across natural resources, environmental, infrastructure, and energy sectors with its digital and equipment solutions [6][7][8].

This multifaceted approach underscores CGG SA’s leadership in offering seismic acquisition equipment and solutions, thus playing a pivotal role in imaging and monitoring the subsurface for various industry challenges [8].

China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL)

China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) distinguishes itself in the seismic acquisition domain through its utilization of state-of-the-art technologies and comprehensive service offerings. The company’s prowess spans across various challenging environments, including onshore, offshore, and deepwater settings, facilitated by a diverse fleet comprising seismic vessels, ocean-bottom cables, and nodes [9]. This versatility is further enhanced by COSL’s commitment to research and development, ensuring the integration of cutting-edge technology in its operations [9].

Key Offerings:

  • Advanced Technologies: Emphasizing 3D seismic data acquisition and processing to cater to diverse environmental settings [9].
  • Comprehensive Fleet: A robust collection of seismic acquisition tools, including vessels and ocean-bottom nodes, tailored for extensive geophysical exploration [9].
  • Geophysical Solutions: Integration of data interpretation and analysis services, offering clients a full spectrum of geophysical insights [9].

Furthermore, COSL’s recent development, the “sea pulse”, represents a breakthrough in marine seismic data exploration. This innovative equipment boasts exceptional capabilities, such as detecting ultra-low frequency seismic waves and providing high-definition oil and gas reservoir data, significantly enhancing the precision of offshore exploration efforts [11]. This advancement, coupled with COSL’s extensive experience in conducting large-scale seismic surveys, including a notable project over block 29/11 offshore China, underscores the company’s leadership in delivering advanced seismic solutions on a global scale [12].

Halliburton Company

Halliburton Company excels in providing a broad spectrum of services crucial for subsurface exploration and analysis, ensuring clients receive comprehensive insights and support throughout their projects. Their offerings include:

  • Seismic Acquisition and Processing: Offering 2D seismic data services, Halliburton employs advanced techniques for data processing and interpretation, enhancing accuracy and resolution to better identify hydrocarbon reservoirs and assess geological risks [18].
  • Subsurface Intelligence and Software Solutions: Services extend to global and regional screening, basin analysis, and well appraisal. Notable software solutions like RezConnect® Well Testing System and DecisionSpace® 365 Enterprise further streamline operations, integrating real-time data analysis with advanced operational services [17].
  • Innovative Technologies and Consulting: Halliburton’s commitment to innovation is evident in their upgrade of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s National Data Repository to Diskos 2.0. This cloud-native implementation showcases Halliburton’s prowess in utilizing advanced automation and AI to derive critical insights from extensive data sets, significantly benefiting the oil and gas industry [20].

These diverse capabilities position Halliburton as a key player in the seismic acquisition and processing market, offering tailored solutions that address the complex challenges of today’s subsurface exploration and production activities.


PGS ASA, a Norwegian company, is renowned for its comprehensive basin analysis services, catering primarily to the oil and gas industry, alongside emerging sectors like carbon storage and offshore wind [21][23]. The company’s approach to enhancing user experience through its website is noteworthy, employing a sophisticated cookie policy to optimize services. These cookies, classified into Strictly Necessary, Functional, Statistical, and Marketing, play various roles from ensuring website functionality to personalizing user experience [21][22].

In 2022, PGS ASA marked a significant recovery in the contract market, with a 70% vessel allocation increase and a more than 35% price surge compared to the previous year. A notable portion of this acquisition was dedicated to 4D seismic for producing fields, utilizing their high-capacity Ramform acquisition vessels and proprietary GeoStreamer technology [23]. This strategic focus has not only solidified PGS ASA’s position in the carbon storage geoservices market but also paved its way into the offshore wind geoservices sector, embarking on its first ultra-high resolution windfarm site characterization project [23].

The anticipated merger with TGS ASA aims to create a full-service energy data company, boasting a fleet of seven 3D data acquisition vessels for streamer acquisition and around 30,000 mid and deepwater nodes for Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) acquisition. This union is set to significantly bolster their operational capabilities, offering enhanced services to both in-house and external customers, with an eye on seizing growth opportunities in new energy sectors like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and offshore wind [24].

Schlumberger Ltd. (Schlumberger N.V.)

Schlumberger Ltd. (Schlumberger N.V.) stands at the forefront of seismic acquisition and interpretation, offering a comprehensive suite of services aimed at enhancing reservoir characterization and optimizing production workflows. Their portfolio includes:

  • Seismic Services:
    • Borehole Seismic [25]
    • Geophysics Processing Software [25]
    • Multiclient Data Library [25]
    • Survey Design and Modeling [25]
    • Seismic Data Processing [25]

Notably, the Optiq Seismic Fiber-Optic Borehole Seismic Solution exemplifies Schlumberger’s commitment to innovation, providing clients with high-quality subsurface insights crucial for decision-making [25]. This, coupled with their extensive experience in significant seismic projects such as the Egypt Red Sea 2019 Bid Round, showcases their capability to handle complex seismic acquisition and interpretation tasks [25].

Schlumberger’s seismic interpretation services are significantly bolstered by the Petrel seismic interpretation software, which supports both 2D and 3D seismic interpretation across various scales. Key features include:

  • Advanced visualization tools for seismic overlay and accurate interpretation [27]
  • GPU-based rendering for high-performance visualization of large datasets [27]
  • Horizon and fault multi-Z interpretation tools [27]

This robust technological infrastructure, combined with Schlumberger’s global presence and a strong focus on sustainability and carbon management, positions them as a leader in the seismic acquisition and interpretation sector [26][29].


TGS ASA is a cornerstone in the seismic data solutions sector, catering to a broad spectrum of the energy industry’s needs. With over four decades of expertise, they have established themselves as a trusted provider, delivering a comprehensive array of services and products across the globe [31]. Their operations span six key regions, including North America, Latin America, Africa, the Mediterranean & Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Europe, showcasing their global footprint and adaptability to diverse market trends and business environments [30][31].

Key Services and Offerings:

  • Seismic Data Solutions: Industry-leading seismic data and imaging solutions tailored for various regions [31].
  • Carbon Storage and Monitoring: Solutions for carbon storage and monitoring, alongside wind and solar energy data services, supporting the full development lifecycle [30].
  • Digital Solutions and Analytics: Cutting-edge digital solutions, including advanced analytics and machine learning/AI capabilities, to enhance data interpretation and decision-making processes [30].

TGS ASA’s commitment to innovation is further highlighted by their recent launch of the FMB Cloud App. This application redefines user interaction with seismic data, offering comprehensive access to well-based stratigraphic interpretation and sequence-constrained facies maps, thereby enhancing the quality and accessibility of seismic interpretation [33].


Throughout this exploration of the seismic acquisition market and the pivotal role of top global companies, we’ve navigated through the technological advancements and diverse services that drive the industry forward. This vibrant market, characterized by its significant growth projections, not only underscores the increasing demand for energy but also highlights the innovation within companies like CGG SA, China Oilfield Services Limited, Halliburton Company, PGS ASA, Schlumberger Ltd., and TGS ASA. Their contributions are instrumental in enhancing subsurface exploration and analysis, thereby optimizing the identification and extraction of oil and gas resources.

As the seismic acquisition and interpretation sector continues to evolve, driven by demands for more efficient and accurate data collection and analysis techniques, the implications for the global energy landscape are profound. Not only do these advancements promise to make energy exploration more sustainable and cost-effective, but they also open new avenues for research and development in the field. These companies not only showcase a commitment to technological innovation but also pave the way for future exploration endeavors, further cementing the critical importance of seismic data interpretation and basin analysis in meeting the world’s energy needs.


What are the main companies that specialize in acquiring marine seismic data?

Leading companies in the marine seismic data acquisition sector include PGS, Polarcus, and Geco Technology. ION Geophysical is notable for its diverse applications, with CGG and Magseis also prominent in the field. InApril has the most extensive geographic reach, followed by ION Geophysical and Geco Technology.

Can you explain the process of 2D seismic data acquisition?

2D seismic data acquisition involves collecting surface seismic data using multiple receiver locations for each source position, which is offset from the receivers. This method is used because the seismic reflections are generally weak compared to the direct signal from the source, resulting in a low signal-to-noise ratio.

What are the different methods of seismic data acquisition?

There are two primary methods of seismic data acquisition: 3D and 2D. 3D data is gathered by towing multiple streamers behind seismic vessels, which allows for capturing seismic data from various angles and distances between the source and receivers. In contrast, 2D data is collected using a single streamer.

How much does it typically cost to conduct a 3D seismic survey?

The cost of acquiring 3D seismic data is about $75,000 per square mile at present.


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