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ABSTRACT: Using 3-D Earth Modeling Technology to Revitalize Development in the Gulf of Mexico's West Delta 117 Field


The West Delta 117 field is an intensely faulted graben structure with numerous stacked pay sands trapped against east-west trending faults. In early 1995, the production from this field was in steep decline and the field was projected to become uneconomic to produce by 1997. In an attempt to identify new drill opportunities and reverse the production decline, a 6-month project was undertaken to reinterpret ten horizons within a 2000 ft interval in the deeper Lower Pliocene section of the field using 3-D earth modeling technology. Interpretation of the complexly faulted structure was aided by combining a number of vendor and proprietary software packages into an integrated workflow. Using this workflow, a detailed geologic model that incorporated fault-to-fault relationships and fault-horizon intersections was developed. This model, based on 3-D interpretation and validated by visualization software, was used as the framework to build detailed computer generated structure maps, isopachs, and cross sections. The interpretation was used to design a strategic delineation well with multiple objectives which was drilled in 1996. The well not only proved up new reserves, but defined a new geologic feature into which three additional wells are being planned. The use of 3-D modeling technology has played a critical role in revitalizing this 35-year-old field.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90941©1997 GCAGS 47th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana