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Collaboration Produces Novel Interpretation Tool

Source: 10/20/2010, Location: Middle East

The EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC), in collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines, has completed the first industry application of a novel automated seismic interpretation tool. The seismic image flattening method simplifies the tedious work routinely performed by seismic interpreters by delivering better data control and instant visualization of stratigraphic features.

The theoretical framework was initially developed at the Colorado School of Mines earlier this year and enhanced by a Saudi Aramco team led by EXPEC ARC senior geophysical consultant Yi Luo.

Before the method was developed, geophysicists spent many hours selecting geologic shapes in the seismic 3D volume using the computer or even manually in order to transform particular layers into a flattened appearance.

“This deformation flattening technique has already provided valuable return to our company,” said Panos Kelamis, chief technologist of the EXPEC ARC Geophysics Technology Team. “Our seismic interpreters are able to now quickly — and quite effortlessly — obtain more accurate images for their analyses, which is critical in exploring for stratigraphic traps.”

Seismic image flattening is a standard procedure in geophysical interpretation. When a geologic layer is isolated and viewed in its entirety, it is easier to recognize stratigraphic features and understand how they relate to the search for hydrocarbon deposits. Due to changes in geologic structure over time (folding, fractures, uplifts, etc.), the geologic layers of today are no longer flat and neatly ordered as they were at the time of deposition, millions of years ago. Seismic image flattening reverses the effects of geologic processes by removing geologic structure.

The flattening technique provides many benefits and is already in high demand. It reduces interpretation time by eliminating hand-picking and reduces human bias during picking, and more importantly, the technology can flatten the entire 3D image at once — not just a single layer.

“We now have a reliable way to instantly reveal critical geological features, which could lead to discoveries of new hydrocarbon reservoirs and more efficient production of existing ones,” said geological specialist Schuman Wu. “This technology will raise the success rate of proposing new exploration and production wells.”

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Related Categories: Formation Evaluation  General  Geological, Geophysical  Geophysical Contractors  Mud Logging  Reservoir Engineering & Recovery Methods  Seismic survey  Well Completion, Logging, Workover 

Related Articles: Formation Evaluation  General  Geological, Geophysical  Geophysical Contractors  Mud Logging  Reservoir Engineering & Recovery Methods  Seismic survey  Well Completion, Logging, Workover 

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