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New Method for Seismic Identification of Fluid Conduits or Barriers Challenges Several Industry Paradigms

Ralf Oppermann
OPPtimal Exploration & Development Pty Ltd., Perth, Australia

During the last two decades, volume interpretation techniques have revolutionised traditional 3D seismic interpretation workflows in the Oil and Gas industry. While traditional interpretation mainly relies on an interpreter to work through a large volume of data to identify and manually characterise subsurface geology and resources, volume interpretation allows to filter and classify subsurface features and extract 3-dimensional geological information through automated processes at a much faster pace, with higher accuracy and at higher resolution.

This paper presents new techniques and workflows in automated fault extraction (AFE) that have been developed to integrate highest-resolution 3D seismic image processing results with the detailed calibration and review of various seismic, well, mining, production and flow data, allowing to delineate fluid barriers, fluid conduits, fault-related mineralisations or drilling and mining hazards in the subsurface.

Examples from fractured Carbonate reservoirs from around the world (North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia), incl. examples of fractured Chalk and karstified Carbonate Basement, demonstrate that high-resolution AFE methods can deliver groundbreaking insights into the 3-dimensional geometry and distribution of fracture networks, and how these can affect fluid flow in the subsurface.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #120034©2012 AAPG Hedberg Conference Fundamental Controls on Flow in Carbonates, Saint-Cyr Sur Mer, Provence, France, July 8-13, 2012