Sequence Stratigraphy: An Integrated Technique for Exploration and Exploitation - Seismic Examples
Winifred A. Burgis
Exxon's concepts of sequence stratigraphy developed from the stratigraphic interpretation of reflection seismic data, a technique known as seismic stratigraphy. Differentiation of chronostratigraphy from lithostratigraphy is critical in interpreting sequences on seismic data. Extensive experience indicates that reflections follow time lines in the rock record and that facies variations are recorded by lateral changes in reflection attributes. Integration of all available well, outcrop, and literature data in a seismic interpretation is essential to reducing the risks associated with predictions of play parameters using seismic stratigraphy.
Predictions based on seismic stratigraphy have been confirmed by drilling in frontier and developing areas. The level of stratigraphic detail needed from a seismic interpretation varies with technical and business objectives. The interpretation of sequence sets may suffice to establish basin history, but seismic identification of individual sequences or system tracts may be required to establish plays and prospects. Even with little or no well control the presence, distribution, and continuity of individual reservoir and source units can be predicted using seismic stratigraphy, as illustrated by applications in lacustrine and deep-marine settings.
Although limited by seismic resolution, detailed stratigraphic interpretations of thin intervals have significant impact on mature areas. The geometry and seismic attributes of even individual reflections provide critical data about reservoir distribution, reservoir continuity, and field segmentation, as illustrated by applications in reservoir modeling and reservoir management.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California