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3D Geological Interpretation Examples in Unconventional Shale Reservoirs

Robin Dommisse¹ and Kevin Pelton²
¹ Austin GeoModeling, Austin, Texas 78732
² Austin GeoModeling, Austin, Texas 78730

Recent advances in 3D geological interpretation techniques allow for more accurate, interactive interpretation of high-resolution sequence stratigraphic frameworks in unconventional reservoirs. The integration of seismic data with well logs, core descriptions, hydraulic fracture, and production data, combined with stratal slicing techniques leads to better insight into an unconventional reservoir's prospect potential. In these field examples, the described techniques are shown to be instrumental in identifying productive reservoir intervals, by enabling interpreters to more accurately define the stratigraphic framework in the pre- and post-drill stages as well as during the drilling phase. Successful geological interpretation of unconventional reservoirs depends on the integration of data management, visualization, stratigraphic analysis, and interpretation. Reservoir flow unit connectivity and continuity can be deduced from the 3D geological interpretation results and corroborated with production and pressure data. Stratal slicing has proven valuable in identifying subtle structural and stratigraphic traps at the limit of seismic resolution. Using a robust, integrated 3D geological interpretation approach combining seismic sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and stratal slicing shows great potential in furthering our understanding of the temporal and spatial distribution of unconventional reservoir units. Increasingly, three-dimensional analysis techniques are required to properly interpret the stratal slice results, ensuring that the maximum value is extracted from the seismic data. Detailed 3D local interpretations are made to finetune the chronostratigraphic framework resulting in more accurate stratal slices highlighting the exploration and production prospects.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012