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MAY, STEVE, ROBERT STEED, JOHN FARRE, and MIKE CARROLL, Exxon Production Research Company, Houston, Texas

Abstract: Volume Interpretation Technology: Impact on Cycle-Time Reduction in Deep Water Exploration and Production

The economic success of exploration and production in deep water is strongly dependent on reducing the cycle time from reconnaissance to first oil. Many critical aspects of the exploration process rely on 3-D seismic data interpretation such as prospect identification, structural and stratigraphic mapping, reservoir facies analysis, fluid-type discrimination, geologic modeling, and reservoir management. Enabled by the high quality of modern, deep-water 3-D seismic data, volume interpretation technologies are revolutionizing the way geoscientists interpret seismic data. Volume interpretation improves the accuracy of subsurface predictions, and reduces the time investment associated with the interpretation process.

Exxon has invested in the development of volume interpretation technologies over the past 5 years. Our approach has been to create a software/hardware environment that includes both public and proprietary tools focused on the manipulation, interpretation, and extraction of features from 3-D seismic volumes.The key element for success has been the ability to rapidly (i.e., hours-days) develop, test, and apply new volume interpretation tools as technical/business challenges are encountered. The impact of volume interpretation can be illustrated in the following areas: reconnaissance for deep-water amplitude plays, rapid screening of hydrocarbon volumes, deep-water hydrocarbon systems analysis, fluid-type prediction, deep-water reservoir facies analysis, geologic modeling and well planning.Validation of new volume interpretation technology is enhanced through focussed research efforts driven by specific business needs.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #[email protected] International Conference and Exhibition, Birmingham, England