Seismic Physical Modeling for the Arabian Peninsula: Laboratory Set-Up and Early Results
Robert J. Greaves*, Mike Jervis, and Mohammed Alfaraj
The geology of Saudi Arabia is covered by variable and complex overburden, which makes it difficult to image subsurface reservoirs in some areas. Therefore, novel processing and data acquisition methods need to be developed that yield improvements to seismic images, while maintaining a cost-effective approach. Constructing scaled physical models, with the expected geological and geophysical characteristics of the problem areas, provides a low-cost means for testing and evaluating different seismic acquisition and processing techniques. In 2006, Saudi Aramco commissioned the building of a physical modeling system in order to develop a capability to simulate the seismic data acquisition in various oil field and exploration target areas. This, in turn, would allow the data, acquired with an emphasis on representing a complex overburden, to be processed with knowledge of ground-truth geology and geophysics. The system uses ultrasonic sources and receivers to simulate seismic data acquisition. The modeling system can record 16 receiver channels and is probably the most advanced automated recording system in the world. Land surveys are simulated by the receivers being in direct contact with the surface so that statics and other near-surface anomalies can be investigated. Marine surveys are simulated by adding water and moving submerged sources and receivers above the model. It is capable of simulating a wide range of vibrator and explosive source signatures with any receiver array configuration. Conventional 2-D, 3-D, 3C, walk-away VSP, cross-well tomography, and micro-seismicity can all be simulated. This presentation will discuss the unique recording capabilities offered by this physical modeling system, and review data recorded to simulate seismic acquisition conditions over a typical Arabian Peninsula subsurface geology overlain by a complex overburden.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90077©2008 GEO 2008 Middle East Conference and Exhibition, Manama, Bahrain