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ABSTRACT: Old datasets, good geology, new technology and exploration efficiency and effectiveness

Loutit, Tom S.1 and Larry Wakefield2
(1) SRK Consulting, Deakin West, Australia
(2) c/- CSIRO Petroleum Resources, Glen Waverley, Australia

Most areas of the world are covered by a wide range of non-seismic datasets of varying quality and resolution. These datasets include gravity, magnetics, radiometrics, bathymetry, topography, remote sensing coverages, geological maps, outcrop locations, mineral exploration knowledge and a number of other airborne and surface-derived datasets. In general, these datasets are underutilized but if properly calibrated and combined with rigorous regional and local structural models can constrain the design of efficient and effective exploration strategies. Mineral exploration methods and products have been especially useful for hydrocarbon exploration in a number of areas.

The question is how to compile, process, calibrate and integrate with existing seismic datasets so that the combination is more effective than the interpretation of seismic and wells alone. What products can be produced from the non-seismic datasets in advance of seismic reprocessing and acquisition decisions?

Qualitative evaluation of exploration risks provides a guide to the kinds of products that should be produced. Non-seismic datasets can be used to generate Structurally Enhanced views of Economic Basement (SEEBASE), maps of trap type, trap integrity, maps of strandlines, incised valleys and basin floor fans and many other key exploration products.

The systematic, phased acquisition, processing and calibration of high spatial resolution non-seismic datasets with 2D and 3D seismic datasets will generally result in either significant savings in seismic acquisition costs or focus higher density seismic acquisition on more prospective locations earlier in an exploration program. Iterative calibration and integration of all datasets during the life of the exploration program will produce better quality play and prospect maps.

©Copyright 2000. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia