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Abstract: Advances in Applications of Magnetotellurics to Hydrocarbon Exploration in Papua New Guinea

Karen R Christopherson

More than 800 Magnetotelluric (MT) stations and EMAP dipoles have been acquired in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 1988. The use and understanding of this non-seismic me od has developed because the lucrative petroleum province of the Highlands Fold Belt Exploration in this area precludes conventional seismic acquisition owing to outcropping limestone which is karstified and more than 3000 feet (1 km) thick in most areas.

MT acquisition has expanded from acquiring single-site or dual-site data using standard wire-link communication to acquiring five stations simultaneously, with communications via radio telemetry. This has resulted in higher production rates, better quality data, and more flexible emplacement of station locations. Design modifications to acquisition equipment has resulted in lighter gear which acquires data with higher signal-to-noise ratio, leading to more reliable interpretations.Advances in computer modeling, primarily through Geotools software, along with better understanding of the structural province and integration with geologists' information, have improved the usability of the interpreted data.

The last seven years have seen several wells drilled of which many are now in production. MT has been acquired at many of these locations, and continues to be an advanced exploration tool. Case histories will demonstrate the effectiveness of exploration using MT and other electrical methods.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90959©1995 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Reno, Nevada