How Cloud Technology Improves Seismic Data Management

While distributed computing has been around since the early 1970s with the creation of ARPANET, the term “cloud computing” was only coined in 1996 by a small group of tech execs at Compaq. Over the past decade, cloud applications and resources have revolutionized nearly every business and continue to transform industries.

In its simplest form, cloud computing is outsourcing storage and services from a company’s own infrastructure onto those of a third party. The advantages are simple: access to on-demand high-end equipment and trained staff without having to manage them in-house. The cloud has changed what’s possible when it comes to collaboration, storage, security, and engineering. An overwhelming 92 percent of enterprises not only use the cloud, but have a multi-cloud strategy.

As more businesses migrate workloads to the cloud, we are only beginning to see its true potential. In the oil and gas industry, cloud technology is now playing a key role in seismic data management.

For everyone from data scientists to CEOs, cloud computing is providing an alternative to legacy systems, with a more responsive way to access data. This is especially important since oil and gas companies may be storing petabytes of seismic data — often in a variety of formats and locations.

Oil and gas companies spend huge sums of money to acquire seismic data, so it’s critical to manage that data properly. It’s not just about storing and indexing online data, but also about managing entitlement and obligations with partners, vendors, and government agencies. 

How the Cloud Benefits Seismic Data Management

Improved geophysical data management and leveraging the power of big data can generate new insights. When data is in the cloud, it’s accessible to everyone authorized to access it.

When data is stored on robust cloud servers, searches are faster. This allows you to conduct deeper analysis and better categorize your data for operational efficiency. You can improve 3D and 4D modeling using interactive geographical displays. The cloud even allows for better control of SEG-Y files.


By moving your data to the cloud, you also have unlimited scalability. Rather than investing in hardware that will become obsolete or adding additional storage capacity in a physical data center, you can increase your cloud storage at any time and the cloud data centre takes care of the physical maintenance and upgrades.

Since you only pay for what you use, you can limit your spending to today’s needs without sacrificing the ability to grow your seismic data harvesting in the future.

Reduced Data Complexity

Satellite imagery, geospatial data, and seismic surveys are all part of the data storage needed for effective and safe drilling operations. Different surveys and ongoing monitoring can produce huge volumes of data, including a mix of structured and unstructured data.

The right cloud seismic data management platform can help you significantly reduce data complexity. Geospatial survey images, for example, can be stored in a data lake. Analysts can then leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide deeper training data to learn and recognize patterns.

Modern Security

With today’s distributed workforce, managing cloud access to data is essential. Fortunately, cloud access and robust security can co-exist. Whether you are using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, or other solutions, you get the full benefit of the provider’s robust security offerings.

For example, Microsoft says it spends more than $1 billion annually on cybersecurity with a team of 3,500 monitoring and managing its cloud services. This security is layered on top of what you already have in place and what your seismic data management platform provides.

Seismic Data in the Cloud

Most geoscience applications have been in place for decades. They still work best for normal filing systems and can struggle under the weight of large volumes of data. Just moving these apps to the cloud may limit connectivity options to data objects.

Many companies have resorted to replicating the on-premise file storage solution to the cloud. In IT terms, this is called “ lift and shift” wherein data goes to the cloud and applications are hosted in a virtual environment. However, when everything moves to the cloud, it doesn’t automatically provide a faster or better solution to accelerate innovation.

There is a better way.

The Premier Seismic Data Management Software for the Cloud

Exploration Archives is an enterprise application that helps geophysical teams, business analysts, and partners quickly find and manage exploration assets. It provides oil and gas companies with the tools they need to handle the entire cycle of data acquisition, storage, cataloging, and exporting. Metadata tools produce powerful search capabilities, while cloud access makes your data available to authorized personnel no matter where they’re located.

With Exploration Archives, you unlock industry-leading software features that help introduce a new era of oil and gas exploration. Platform benefits include: 

  • ‌Easy Integration: Merge with your existing network architecture and workflows
  • ‌Automated Quality Control: Ensure high value and accuracy with automated quality control process for SEG-Y files during migration and cataloging. For example, SEG-Y scans generate replicas of data files in a snapshot format to reduce storage requirements and increase retrieval speed.
  • ‌Automated Seismic Data Management: Rules-based actions can simplify the management of deliverables and tasks
  • ‌Seamless Data Access: Authorized users have access to online, nearline, or offline data with a single interface
  • ‌Accurate Data Storage: Locate well, seismic data, and physical assets for accurate data tracking
  • ‌Custom Workflows: Custom workflows can accommodate other geoscience applications, such as Esri® ArcGIS®

‌Exploration Archives uses a distributed architecture. You can host the platform internally in your data center or externally in the cloud while providing secure multi-user access and connections to data storage platforms in any location.

Once you get started, a dedicated project manager will work with you to ensure a successful implementation that aligns with your methodologies. Our team of data specialists will help with the data migration process. We also convert well and seismic data from compromised formats or competitor solutions to make sure you have full access to all of your data. Schedule a demo today, or contact us for further information on how the Exploration Archives platform will benefit your business.