Pacific Section AAPG, SPE and SEPM Joint Technical Conference

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Application Of Induced Seismicity Mapping (ISM) Software - In Wilmington Oil Field


The innumerous faulted areas and continuous natural seismic activities around California make it difficult to co-relate the induced seismic events with subsurface injection and production activities. Identifying and monitoring induced earthquakes from subsurface injection and production (SFIP) activities which is a crucial but unwieldy task due to massive volume of spatial and temporal data. Induced seismicity Mapping (ISM) software serves as a robust tool developed to visualize and extract faults, seismic, injection and production data around an oilfield within California. The software is developed based on Matlab environment and provides a friendly interphase to save the user from cumbersome task of data extraction, handling and filtering prior to analysis of seismic or SFIP data. This study briefly demonstrates the utilizations of ISM in assisting and facilitating petroleum engineers to conduct analysis regarding oilfield related induced seismicity. It primarily aims in identifying the zones of Wilmington oilfield which have been affected by the change in pore pressure using the publically available data. ISM is used to assist identifying the regions of SFIP activities showing seismic events or wellbore collapse. With a focus on areas having high-frequency injection and production activities, it enables distinguishing the induced seismic events by means of magnitude frequency analysis and correlating with temporal variation in SFIP activities. We have used Wilmington oil field as a test case to highlights applications of ISM. Wilmington is one of the prolific oilfields in the U.S. in terms of cumulative oil production (EUR is around 2.8 billion barrels), and has been extensively studied to understand its highly faulted anticline traps and subsidence. In order to control subsidence, rigorous injection activities have been done in the field which has resulted in significant change in pore pressure. Preliminary results indicate no major seismicity has been created in this field. The ultimate objective is to find zones having wellbore collapse due to high injection rates and thus indicates sensitive zones in the region, which helps decision maker to minimize the negative effects of field subsidence and wellbore collapse.