简介：皇家荷兰壳牌借助于独特的工具：计算机打印机，来勘探陆上新的油气藏。壳牌与惠普（HP）配合开发基于微型机电体系（MEMS）的新型地震传感器，MEMS起初是为HP的打印机头设计的。Royal Dutch Shell is looking for help in discovering new oil and gas reserves on land from an unlikely source: computer printers. The energy giant is collaborating with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to develop new seismic sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) originally designed for HP"s printer heads. A MEMS accelerometer is a sensor that can be used to measure vibration, shock, or change in velocity with extremely high sensitivity and accuracy. They were codeveloped over the past 25 years by HP Labs the company"s central research division and HP"s Imaging and Printing Group to provide a measurement capability that is 1,000 times more sensitive than high-volume products currently available, HP states. "These MEMS devices have been developed to take electrical signals and convert them to ink droplets," said Rich Duncombe, distinguished technologist at HP"s Technology Development Organization. "Just as in the semiconductor industry, the device can be used for another function." Recognizing the continuing need for high-quality seismic data to accurately assess exploration prospects for commercial viability and to effectively monitor producing reservoirs, Shell and HP will bring their complementary knowledge and experience to develop ultrasensitive, wireless accelerometer sensors using these MEMS devices. The multiyear project is aimed at improving the accuracy of Shell"s onshore seismic surveys through these devices, which will reportedly deliver a higher channel count and a broader sensor frequency range than are available with current sensor technology. The system will be designed to integrate seamlessly with Shell"s high-performance computing and seismic-imaging environment and deploy safely and more cost-effectively than current systems. Shell plans to use 1 million wireless accelerometer sensors, compared with the tens of thousands of wired sensors it currently uses, to vastly improve the quality of sensing, collecting, and storing seismic data. By deploying so many of these detectors as part of a complete sensor network, HP says that real-time data collection, management evaluation, and analysis will be afforded. Wim Walk, manager of Novel Geophysical Technologies at Shell, said that Shell had previously been unable to get enough high-resolution data to run accurate seismic models on land surveys. "On land, the quality of the data was not very good. This system will render much more high-resolution data," he said. The data can then be fed into Shell"s imaging software for analyzing potential oil and gas reserves. Eventually, HP and Shell plan to build a production system, using the accelerometers as a starting point for gathering the data. "We have to validate the design, which includes not only the sensors that are connected wirelessly to a command-and-control system, but also storage systems that can handle petabytes of data daily, together with software to devise surveys," said Jeff Wacker, leader of Services Innovation and HP Fellow, HP Enterprise Services. "We think this will represent a leap forward in seismic data quality that will provide Shell with a competitive advantage in exploring difficult oil and gas reservoirs, such as subsalt plays in the Middle East or unconventional gas in North America," said Gerald Schotman, Shell"s executive vice president for Innovation/Research and Development. "As a result of this exciting collaboration, we expect to fully realize the potential of Shell"s processing and imaging technology on land." Additional information about the sensing system from HP and Shell is available in an online press kit at HP"s website.