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Integrating Basin Modelling with Geophysical Methods

Hans Martin Helset¹, Zhijun Du², and Erling Fjær²
¹SINTEF Petroleumsforskning AS, Stavanger, Norway
²SINTEF Petroleumsforskning AS, Trondheim, Norway

This abstract presents an approach and work flow for integrating basin modelling methods with geophysical exploration methods. In the exploration phase, seismic and electromagnetic data can be inverted for sediment velocity and resistivity. Using rock physics models, the velocity and resistivity data can be interpreted to give a prediction of porosity and hydrocarbon saturation in the prospect location. Basin modelling on the other hand is used to model sedimentation, compaction, temperature history, source rock maturation and hydrocarbon migration through geological time, and to give an independent prognosis of hydrocarbon saturation in the prospect location. Traditionally geophysical methods and basin modelling have been applied separately. We have investigated methods for integrating basin modelling with geophysical methods to obtain an integrated and consistent exploration work flow. By constraining the rock physics modelling by basin modelling results, and constraining the basin model by the results of rock physics modelling, we attempt to improve the accuracy and reduce the uncertainty of estimated reservoir rock and fluid properties. The objective is to obtain an integrated prospect prediction. This approach can result in meaningful integration and a significant reduction of exploration risk compared to studies where rock physics and basin modelling are not linked. The integrated approach will also add value to situations where either the rock physics approach or the basin modelling approach are less sensitive on their own.

Basin modelling can provide constraints to the rock physics analysis in several ways:

  1. Burial history and temperature history
    • Mechanical compaction and sediment diagenesis (quartz cementation in sandstones, Smectite illitization in shales)
  2. Hydrocarbon migration
    • Hydrocarbon saturation in the prospect from source rock maturation and hydrocarbon migration

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #120098©2013 AAPG Hedberg Conference Petroleum Systems: Modeling the Past, Planning the Future, Nice, France, October 1-5, 2012