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Additional Methods for the Analysis of Seismic Data and Risk Reduction Through the Interpretation and Reservoir Modelling of Scaled Analogue Models


Understanding complex tectonics in areas that lack data is a challenging problem that has no immediate solution, short of new data being acquired. When only ‘regional data’ is available (typically single 2D seismic and individual wells) exploration of potential hydrocarbon targets in highly complex structural areas usually results in only the broadest conclusions being drawn. The ideal situation would be for detailed reservoir analysis to be carried out in these areas of prospective hydrocarbon potential, even when the available data is sparse. Utilising industry standard seismic interpretation software, we propose that direct comparisons between scaled analogue models and reservoir interpretation of natural examples can be made. These comparisons aim to highlight the similarities between synthetic and real data and therefore further demonstrate the usefulness of scaled sandbox experiments in developing structural models. Photographic data from scaled physical models is converted into SEG-Y format allowing it to be loaded into the seismic interpretation software and then be treated as a seismic volume. Horizon and fault interpretation of the models allow for a structural framework to be built, which given the controlled nature of the scaled physical model experiments and the quality of their output data, can achieve a high level of detail. By inputting synthetic well data we further develop an artificial reservoir model and can then perform analyses such as flow simulations to determine the viability of potential hydrocarbon prospects. Having these synthetic reservoir models available within the seismic interpretation software and being able to follow standard interpretation workflows can provide an effective method for comparison with real data. Utilising this approach it could be possible, therefore, to provide a suite of potential reservoir models for areas of exploration where only limited data is available. The intention of this research is to provide a new source of data that can allow investigation and application of different experimental conditions to reservoir models. Detailed conclusions regarding tectonics and near- and far-field stress can then be drawn and applied to potential hydrocarbon reservoirs. Use of this synthetic data allows a variety of tectonic conditions to be modelled, such that a broad array of reservoir results can be investigated, reducing the overall uncertainty and risk involved with data acquisition.