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Exploration Risk Reducing by Means of Basin Modeling


Postnova, Elena V., I. V. Oreshkin, O. I. Merkulov, M. A. Potapov, Nizhnevolzhski Geology and Research Institute, Saratov, Russia


Data quality, quantity, and a complex geologic history in some oil-gas-bearing basins conspire to produce significant exploration and investment risks.

Important risks include: 1) seismic data quantity and quality and the resulting struc­tural and stratigraphic interpretations, 2) well log and test data quality and the resulting lithofacies and reservoir quality interpretations, and 3) proper recognition and assessment of new and existing exploration plays.

Geological and geophysical studies increasingly rely on basin modeling as a tool to understand and reduce key geologic risks. 3D and 2D basin modeling software was used in this study to reconstruct basin geometry, fluid pressure, source-rock maturation, and hydrocarbon migration and entrapment. The technology is realized on the Anadir basin, the North and the Middle Caspian basins and some of the Volga-Ural area.

The resulting basin models are used to rapidly quantify the impact of key uncertain­ties, substantiate exploration trends, and reduce geologic risk. The combination of rapid simulation speeds, complex data integration, and exploration experience provides a basis for identifying new exploration leads, evaluating geologic uncertainties, and reducing exploration and investment risk.