Unlocking UAE's Largest 3D Onshore Seismic Survey – Processing Challenges in Eastern Abu Dhabi

Trezzi, Stefano (Schlumberger) | Seliem, Abdulla (Occidental Petroleum) | Mahgoub, Mohamed (ADNOC) | Cambois, Guillaume (ADNOC) | Glushchenko, Anna (Schlumberger) | Vasilyev, Pavel (Schlumberger) | Saad Al Kobaisi, Abdulla (ADNOC)


Abstract A 14,000 sq. km surface seismic survey was acquired onshore Abu Dhabi in recent years. With around 170 billion traces, it is the largest land survey shot in the UAE and one of the largest processed globally to date. We present here the methodology in processing this dataset to derive a high-resolution volume that surpasses benchmarks from previous exploration campaigns. A detailed near surface model and related statics have been derived using Data-driven Image-Based Statics (DIBS) workflow. Over twenty depth tomography iterations were required to reach structural continuity and guarantee well matching, with strong interaction between interpreters and processing team to define a geologically consistent model. Pre-imaging technologies such as surface wave modeling, 5D regularization to radial symmetry, Multiples prediction algorithms, as well as numerous iterations of multi-domain noise attenuation have been key to provide the desired level of Signal-to-Noise ratio and achieve high vertical resolution. The project is also part of a broader work that aims to cover the Abu Dhabi Emirate with high-density surface seismic. Hence, the survey was designed and processed to deliver seamless merge and continuity with neighbor sectors, for a total of 40,000 square kilometers of data. These efforts in seismic acquisition and processing have produced an accurate high-resolution volume that adds unprecedented levels of detail and a new geological understanding of key plays in the south-east regions of Abu Dhabi. This result has been achieved over established producing fields, as well as in new, unexplored areas. The outcome has been already proven accurate in the latest exploration campaigns and is currently being used as a benchmark to define possible new key targets.

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