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Techniques for Improved Prospect Evaluation: Examples from Gulf of Mexico

Tony Marsh
PARADIGM, 820 Gessner, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77024

Geoscientists today are faced with working in areas with greater depositional and structural complexity along with increasing pressure to produce and deliver high quality interpretation results within shorter deadlines.

As a result many new automated interpretation techniques have been developed, enabling geoscientist to fully exploit all available information within their 3D sesmic surveys These techniques not only speed up the interpretation process but also provide higher quality and more accurate results.

This paper illustrates how these automated techniques are applied to a complex fault system within the Gulf of Mexico. The area of investigation contains two phases of extensional faulting which have been subsequently deformed by salt emplacement. Using an automated fault extraction process (AFE) on a high quality fault indicator volume yields information about fault timing and formation processes. Results from the AFE process are incorporated into a standard fault interpretation workflow and used to produce a sealed fault network,which can be used to constrain and improve horizon propagation and interpretation.

3D restoration techniques are used to examine juxtaposition of reservoir beds in earlier geologic times, providing a better understanding of the impact of the two phases of faulting. Partial 3D restorations are then applied, where youngest fault deformation has been removed, to examine how hydrocarbons migrated may have occurred prior to later structural events and identify which structures were likely filled and which were by-passed.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90076©2008 AAPG Pacific Section, Bakersfield, California