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Abstract: 3-D Seismology in the Arabian Gulf

Moujahed Al-Husseini, Richard Chimblo

Since 1977 when Aramco and GSI (Geophysical Services International) pioneered the first 3-D seismic survey in the Arabian Gulf, under the guidance of Aramco's Chief Geophysicist John Hoke, 3-D seismology has been effectively used to map many complex subsurface geological phenomena. By the mid-1990s extensive 3-D surveys were acquired in Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Also in the mid-1990's Bahrain, Kuwait and Dubai were preparing to record surveys over their fields.

On the structural side 3-D has refined seismic maps, focused faults and fractures systems, as well as outlined the distribution of facies, porosity and fluid saturation. In field development, 3-D has not only reduced drilling costs significantly, but has also improved the understanding of fluid behavior in the reservoir. In Oman, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has now acquired the first Gulf 4-D seismic survey (time-lapse 3-D survey) over the Yibal Field. The 4-D survey will allow PDO to directly monitor water encroachment in the highly-faulted Cretaceous Shu'aiba Reservoir.

In exploration, 3-D seismology has resolved complex prospects with structural and stratigraphic complications and reduced the risk in the selection of drilling locations. The many case studies from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which are reviewed in this paper attest to the effectiveness of 3-D seismology in exploration and producing in clastics and carbonates reservoirs, and in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France