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Scott Bugosh1, Todd Previous HitFowlerNext Hit1, Bob Golding1, David Muerdter2, Davis Ratcliff2
(1) Anadarko Petroleum, Houston, TX
(2) Diamond Geoscience Research Corporation

Abstract: Hickory Field: integrated technologies revitalize a sub-salt prospect

The integration of improved seismic technologies and new geologic structural and stratigraphic models can often revitalize a prospect. This is a case history of the Hickory subsalt prospect in offshore Louisiana where 3-D raytrace modeling, new geologic structural and depositional models, and improved seismic processing techniques were employed. They developed a prospect which when drilled became Hickory Field.

In 1994, Anadarko and Phillips drilled the Teak prospect, which was a non-commercial subsalt discovery. Initial mapping showed the Hickory prospect to be a synclinally separated look-alike, with little potential for better sand development.

Improvements in seismic imaging, notably a 3-D Previous HitprestackNext Hit depth Previous HitmigrationNext Hit, allowed the base of salt to be accurately re-interpreted and showed the minibasin to be open to the northeast, toward the potential sand sources. A new depsitional model was developed in which deepwater turbidite sands were transported into the basin from the northeast, making Hickory prospect potentially more sand-prone. Empirical models supported the likelihood of increased sand presence as compared to the Teak area.

The improved seismic imaging also revealed several amplitude anomalies. A raytrace modeling study was undertaken to better understand these amplitude anomalies and therefore reduce exploration risk. Comparing modeled results to the existing 3-D Previous HitprestackTop depth migrated seismic dataset enabled us to high-grade the initial location and make the exploratory well a success.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana