Spectrum has kicked off a 10,000-kilometre 2D multi-client seismic survey to get a better look at potential resources in Brazil's Sergipe Alagoas basin.
The emerging Eastern Margin area off Brazil's north-western coast has attracted industry attention following the discoveries Barra, Muriu and Farfan from Petrobras.
The state-led oil giant plans to spend $5.7 billion in exploration and production activities in the basin by 2017.
Deep-water areas are estimated to contain 3 billion barrels of oil in place in turbidite channel systems of mid-Cretaceous to early Tertiary age.
The quality and type of finds has led to comparison to Brazil's prolific Campos basin.
"We have experienced good client interest due to the lack of existing modern seismic data in the deep-water and ultra-deepwaters," said Richie Miller, executive vice president for multi-client business in North and South America.
"We are confident that the data will be highly valuable for the industry ahead of the next licensing round in the area."
The BGP Challenger vessel will carry out the work, with processing carried out in Houston.