Archimedes News

Archimedes has contributed to a previous edition of GEO ExPro magazine with an article titled "Magnetics and Fractures in Coal and Shale".

Company Overview

Archimedes' core service is the processing and interpretation of magnetic,gravity & gradiometry data using its unique techniques for the petroleum and mineral exploration & development industry.

Archimedes began in Australia and initially performed work in Australia, New Zealand and PNG for petroleum clients such as Woodside Energy, Santos, Oil Company of Australia, Apache Energy and Origin Energy, covering over many basins throughout the region. In the early days of the company, several large scale studies were also conducted over large parts of South Australia & NSW sponsored by the mineral exploration industry.

Archimedes expanded considerably into the international arena, working for petroleum clients such as Shell (in several locations), BP (in several locations) and many others in basins around the United Kingdom, Western Siberia, Mongolia, North & South America, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Suez, Nile Delta, Red Sea, Libya, Morocco, Gabon, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Archimedes' head office is in Adelaide, Australia and has representatives in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Brazil and Egypt.

Archimedes has many permanent, part time and consulting staff to deliver its products and services to the petroleum and minerals industry. It substantially increased in size from small beginnings to cope with this rapidly expanding business. The staff includes processing and interpreting geoscientists, computer development scientists and senior petroleum & mineral industry advisors.

The traditional mindset in the petroleum industry has considered magnetics and gravity suitable only for regional studies in sedimentary basins However, Archimedes' unique processing and interpretation techniques, with resolution and detail far superior to traditional approaches, are now routinely being applied in the petroleum industry to more focused areas where seismic is not of good quality or simply not available.

Common situations where seismic has difficulties are:

  • Imaging basement structure including basement faults and fractures
  • Imaging basement and deeper horizons, sub-salt and sub-volcanics
  • Imaging base of salt (evaporites), base of volcanics and gas shales
  • Imaging horizons where seismic multiples are problematic
  • When seismic data is degraded by near-surface effects (dunes, swamps, hard surfaces)

Common situations where seismic is sparse are:

  • In areas that are difficult to acquire good seismic, such as mountainous regions, swamps, transition zones and inaccessible areas
  • New exploration areas

In the case of new exploration areas, the application of Archimedes' techniques provides a more cost effective approach to reconnaissance of the area and infilling in gaps between sparse 2D lines. They can aid in the design of new surveys and act as a first pass look at a new area, providing detailed basin architecture, and regional and local structural trends.

The key differentiating techniques that Archimedes has developed to the next level are:

  • Energy Spectral Analysis (ESA) using magnetic, gravity and gradiometry data for Horizon Interpretation
  • Automatic Curve Matching (ACM) using magnetics for Fault Interpretation & imaging magnetic susceptibility contrasts

The key factors that differentiate Archimedes from the traditional approaches are:

  • The high resolution achieved in mapping various horizons. The ESA technique can be applied to each and every point on a grid unlike profile modelling and the application of interpolation techniques. This produces a unique solution, unlike other techniques.
  • The ability (using ESA) to interpret multiple sedimentary horizons.
  • The mapping (using ACM) of high resolution magnetic lineaments which may be interpreted as faults, fracture patterns or other geological features (e.g. Stress regimes) both in basement and within the sedimentary section.
  • Outlining the extent of volcanics using multiple techniques. These techniques include Advanced Filtering, modified Horizontal Gradient Techniques, Susceptibility from ACM, Spectral Shape and Tensor analysis.

Archimedes has adapted its technology for use in the mineral exploration industry, Magnetic source bodies detected with ACM have been visualised in 3D using Petrel and computed magnetic susceptibilities have been assigned specific colour ranges allowing features like pipe-shaped magnetite breccia of the IOGC or ISGC type to be identified rapidly from large high resolution aeromagnetic datasets. This technique has also been applied in the search for Massive Sulphide Ni-Cu deposits. MVT type deposits, Ironstone bodies and other prospects of interest to the mineral exploration industry. ACM technology has also been used to create 3D magnetic susceptibility voxel models of volcanic layers. The magnetic field generated by the voxel models can be subtracted from the total magnetic intensity field producing a sub-volcanic magnetic field that can then be analysed and interpreted using ESA.

Copyright Archimedes Consulting Pty Ltd. 2009.