Applying New Seismic Fracture Extraction Workflows to Fields and New Plays - Opportunity for Drilling and Production Optimisation
Oppermann, Ralf H.
OPPtimal Exploration & Development Pty Ltd, Wembley, WA, Australia.
During the last two decades, volume interpretation techniques have increasingly revolutionised traditional 3D seismic interpretation workflows. While traditional interpretation mainly relies on an interpreter to work through a large volume of data to identify and manually characterise geology and resources, volume interpretation allows to filter and classify subsurface features and extract 3-dimensional geological information through automated processes at a much faster pace, with higher accuracy and reliability, and at higher resolution.
This paper presents new workflows that have been developed to integrate highest-resolution fracture network extraction results from 3D seismic data with the detailed calibration and review of various geophysical, geological, drilling and production data.
Examples from compartmentalised, fractured, tight, basement and gas shale reservoirs around the world demonstrate that the new methods can deliver groundbreaking insights into the 3D distribution of fracture networks, and how these can affect resource activities and resource recoveries. Fracture network extraction allows to delineate fluid barriers, fluid conduits or drilling hazards in the subsurface. This in turn allows to reduce drilling risks and costs, predict and locate productive or sealing fracture networks and significantly increase resource production from assets.
Hi-res fracture network extraction offers multiple opportunities for both drilling and production optimisations. Drilling problems in existing wells can be better understood and future wells designed to stay clear of fractured zones previously not predictable from seismic data, or by predicting zones in the well where e.g. fluid losses or borehole instabilities could occur.
Production problems such as reservoir compartmentalisation or water channelling along fracture planes can be better understood, and future wells can be optimally placed with respect to fluid barriers or fluid conduits. Fracture intersections can be planned to drain different fault compartments (in matrix-producing fields), or to access the productive natural fracture network (sweet spots).
A focused application of the new technology workflows can deliver new discoveries as well as increased recoveries from fields. It can also result in safer, cheaper and more successful drilling operations. As such, these techniques are proposed as Best Practice tools for both exploration and development of Oil & Gas resources.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90155©2012 AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, Singapore, 16-19 September 2012