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Optimizing Well Productivity via Full-Wave Seismic Imaging: A Success Case from the Xinchang Unconventional Gas Field

John Tinnin and Doug Allinson
ION - GXT Imaging Solutions, Houston, TX

Fractured reservoirs are becoming increasingly important sources of hydrocarbon production around the world. The drive to increase energy production is especially acute in China, given the country’s role as the ‘manufacturer for the world’ and its booming middle class. As the second largest energy company in China, Sinopec plays a key role in addressing the country’s energy supply challenges. Forty percent of Sinopec’s gas production is sourced from the Sichuan Province, where much of the production comes from low permeability, fractured reservoirs. One of the larger fields in the Sichuan basin is XinChang, an asset targeted for a multi-year exploitation and step-out drilling program by the managers at Sinopec. Although seismic data existed for the field, it was believed to not be of the quality needed to image the deeper reservoir intervals nor to target fracture ‘sweet spots’ that correlated with the highest producing wells. In 2003, geophysicists from Sinopec’s local operating company - Southwest Petroleum Branch (SWPB) - began to consider alternatives for improving seismic data quality at XinChang. Over the course of the next several years, SWPB undertook the largest full-wave imaging program on record with impressive results - both success rates and well productivity have shown dramatic improvements.

Presentation GEO India Expo XXI, Noida, New Delhi, India 2008©AAPG Search and Discovery