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The “FaultWorld” Approach: A Semi-Automatic Fault Interpretation Workflow


Terken, Jos M. J., Jean-Claude Jauffred, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V, Assen, Netherlands


Fault mapping is often the most labor-intensive part of any seismic interpretation, espe­cially when the tectonic setting is complex. This paper describes the FaultWorld workflow developed by Shell in-house are described that can significantly reduce this effort by semi­automatic fault extraction in an appropriately filtered 3D seismic dataset. The approach is used for both exploration and development studies, as it allows fast analysis of fault densi­ty and trends around reservoir horizons and in overburden sequences as well as detailed fault surfaces generation.

The workflow includes appropriate structural oriented filtering of the seismic volume, with proper edge preservation to sharpen discontinuities, followed by generation of the ade­quate fault highlighting volume. These highlighted discontinuities are then collapsed into a stopper-voxel volume on which azimuth and dip volumes are computed.

These volumes are analyzed in FaultWorld, which provides a quick 3D view of the fault pattern that can be broadcasted to 123DI, Shells’ in-house TIS package, for analysis of the tectonic setting and history. The raw fault surfaces can be merged before export to a reser­voir modeling package, e.g. PETREL, where they can form the basis of a 3D static reservoir model. Examples of the application of this semi-automated fault extraction workflow in dif­ferent structural settings in the Netherlands will be shown and discussed.