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Advanced Automated Faults and Horizon Interpretations Improving E&P Prospect and Field Structural Definition

Le Turdu, Previous HitCarolineTop *1; Bejarano, Gaston 2; Laver, Rod 3; Schulte, Lothar 4; Warner, Stephen 5
(1) Schlumberger, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.
(2) Schlumberger, Hannover, Germany.
(3) Schlumberger, Gatwick, United Kingdom.
(4) Schlumberger, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(5) Schlumberger, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Accurate interpretations of geological structures, horizons and faults, for assessment of hydrocarbon volumetric is vital in support of Oil and Gas exploration and development. In structurally complex areas interpreting faults with smaller throws and length to understand trends and relationships is taxing and frustrating. This forces many geophysicists to invest hours in mechanical interpreting instead on thinking about the key issues in the project.

This paper discusses the benefits of combining computer aided faults and horizon interpretation for a better structural understanding. The seismic volume used in this paper is highly faulted. The case study will show how a new method for blending seismic signal with automated fault detection attribute can help generate a consistent horizon interpretation without any manual fault picking by a geophysicist.

The key approach of the proposed new workflow is to combine the fault detected cube with the seismic amplitude cube into a blended 3D seismic cube. In this process, only a desired amount of detected fault signal is kept and several thresholds can be applied for what-if scenario and uncertainty testing purposes. The second step consists in seeding few points on the blended cube using a 3D horizon auto-tracker. The 3D auto-tracked horizon then propagate in the 3D merged cube until it reaches faults signal identified and progresses along those discontinuities, delineating perfectly the interpreted horizon along the faults. This novel approach minimizes the possibility that the automatic horizon tracker is mis-correlating the wrong seismic events across faults.

The combination of modern computer aided techniques for faults and horizon interpretation offers a significant increase in performance and accuracy for geophysicists working in exploration or development. This unique approach with little user intervention allows multiple realizations and what-if scenarios. The resulting structural consistent 3D structural model is vital for uncertainty reduction at prospect or field scale and importantly crucial as a precursor to classical geological modeling workflows and associated well planning.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California