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ABSTRACT: Fluid flow monitoring with seismic physical models

Sherlock, Donald H., Brian J. Evans, and Jason McKenna , Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia

Seismic physical modelling is used to study the effects of seismic wave propagation and to improve methods of data acquisition, processing and interpretation. Prior to this research, the use of unconsolidated sands for seismic physical models was restricted due to the lack of control or understanding of the natural variations that occur throughout the models. The use of sands allows fluids to be incorporated into the models for the first time, providing a more realistic analogue of hydrocarbon reservoirs, and presents an opportunity to expand the role of seismic physical modelling. The computer controlled modelling system allows repeatable acquisition, providing an ideal environment to study the time variant characteristics of reservoirs that occur with production. Time-lapse 3-D (or 4-D) seismic is becoming increasingly important in the management of hydrocarbon production yet there is a lack of model data to support some of the conclusions being made. Subtle anomalies on difference sections may be artifacts of the acquisition footprints or manufactured from the complex data processing that is necessary to allow comparison of legacy data sets.

The ability to repeat data acquisition on physical models bypasses these problems such that any anomalies seen on difference sections can be directly attributed to changes within the model. The development of 4-D seismic physical models will also provide a number of other advantages, which are:

1. Inexpensive, real seismic data. 2. The absence of complications from seasonal or climate factors. 3. Rapid data turn around in a matter of days, rather than having to revisit an area years later. 4. Potential to control the changes within the model and compare the seismic interpretations against the known changes. 5. The ability to deliberately change acquisition parameters to test the effect on the resultant seismic difference sections.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia