Abstract: 3D Seismic and the Geologist: How Do We Fit In?
Steven M. Ellsworth
One of the most common issues in 3D seismic interpretation today is geological integration. This issue is very pervasive and potentially important to those of us in the geological profession. Despite it's importance, most of us appear to resist learning more about 3D seismic and the computer systems that assist in interpreting the 3D seismic data. This unfortunate dilemma may be caused by several factors:
Our geophysicist handles the "3D interpretation".
I do not have digital data and it is too difficult to get my well data into a computer system.
The workstation is too complex for me to effectively use.
I am computer illiterate - I'll never figure it out.
I use the computer for information - not interpretation.
I couldn't tell a "good" 3D survey from a "bad" one!
I've found more oil with subsurface geology than I ever have with seismic data!
The log data is the only "true" reflection of subsurface conditions. I don't trust data that is in time.
The new (and continued) reality is that the technical people in our profession will soon be "outsourced," laid-off or simply be unable to compete with geologists who are adept at providing "geological integration" with 3D seismic data. A portion of this problem can be attributable to the attitude in the industry that geologists (and geological interpretations) are "free." This attitude may be caused by the fact that, in the past, we typically have not had the seismic budget of the geophysicist or have needed high priced computer systems to interpret our data. Currently a major shift in our profession has started towards the use of new high-powered geological computer interpretation systems. The fact that oil operators are demanding geological integration with 3D seismic data is respon ible for starting to change all of the past "rules."
While geological computer systems have been available for some time, the new geological computer systems having the power to exchange depth data (geological) with time data (geophysical) have just become available to the explorationist. These new computer systems are a quantum leap forward in data loading, data manipulation, depth of interpretation capability and integration with seismic data. Assuming the U.S. oil industry is able to survive, those of us with the foresight to learn these new systems should prosper and be in high demand in the coming decade.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90960©1995 AAPG Southwest Section Meeting, Dallas, Texas