Energy and environment

Exploration technology

High-resolution seismic data combined with advanced computational analysis enable ExxonMobil to make the most informed exploration, development and production decisions.

Sophisticated modeling capabilities

The search for hydrocarbons

Sound has been an integral part of oil and gas exploration for the last five decades. In the process of seismic mapping, sound wave reflections are used to form three dimensional images of geologic formations. The energy industry uses these 3-D images to help determine where to drill, reducing the number of wells needed to produce oil and gas resources.

For years, only a fraction of sound waves were considered usable as computer processing techniques could not yet handle the complexity. Today, our proprietary and patented algorithms, coupled with investments in supercomputers, accomplish the massive computational task of analyzing all seismic data to create a picture of the subsurface in richer detail.

Sound wave visualization through the years
Photo — With full wavefield inversion technology it is possible to see and dissect the very subtle physical properties of rocks and more accurately locate oil and gas reservoirs.

Sound and the preservation of marine life

ExxonMobil takes numerous precautionary measures in all its seismic operations to minimize impacts on marine life.
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All articles about exploration technology

Ashlika Persaud: A one-of-a-kind find in Guyana It’s not often a geoscientist like me begins her career with a major discovery. It is even rarer to have that discovery take place in her country’s backyard.

Exploration Energy Factor May 22, 2019

Brazil a bold energy investment In September 2017, ExxonMobil had interest in just two offshore blocks in Brazil, totaling slightly more than 161,000 net acres.

Oil Energy Factor Nov. 2, 2018

Discovering hidden hydrocarbons: using seismic-imaging technology to map formations far below the earth's surface Nearly 50 years ago, ExxonMobil pioneered a technology called 3-D seismic imaging, which uses sound waves to form three-dimensional images of geologic formations. These images have become the industry standard for understanding subsurface geology and finding oil and gas deposits.

Exploration Article Sept. 13, 2018

ExxonMobil sets record in high-performance oil and gas reservoir computing Combining software, engineering and geoscience skills, our advanced technical and computational capabilities offer a competitive advantage in resource analysis and decision-making.

Exploration Article Sept. 13, 2018

ExxonMobil wins more acreage in Brazil's 4th pre-salt bid round IRVING, Texas — ExxonMobil has increased its holdings in Brazil’s pre-salt basins after winning the Uirapuru exploration block with co-venturers Equinor and Petrogal Brasil during Brazil’s 4th pre-salt bid round.

Newsroom News June 7, 2018