Electrical Anisotropy Drivers In The Snøhvit Region Of The Barents Sea

Ellis, Michelle (RSI) | MacGregor, Lucy (RSI) | Ackermann, Rolf (RSI) | Newton, Paola (RSI) | Keirstead, Robert (RSI) | Rusic, Alberto (RSI) | Bouchrara, Slim (RSI) | Alvarez, Amanda Geck (RSI) | Zhou, Yijie (RSI) | Tseng, Hung-Wen (RSI)



In this study we use Controlled Source Electromagnetic (CSEM) data, well log data and rock physics to investigate electrical anisotropy drivers in the Snøhvit area of the Barents Sea. Results show that for the shale dominated sediments electrical anisotropy varies systematically with porosity, depth and elastic properties. However there is little systematic trend with clay content.


CSEM can be used to provide higher sensitivity to hydrocarbon saturation than is possible to achieve with conventional seismic reflection data (MacGregor & Tomlinson, 2014). In CSEM’s infancy anisotropy was ignored, however, disregarding resistivity anisotropy will lead to misleading CSEM survey feasibility studies, inaccurate CSEM data analysis, inaccurate estimations of hydrocarbon saturations and, consequently, erroneous interpretations (Ellis et al., 2011). In order to improve our interpretation of CSEM data we need to understand what drives the anisotropy for a given rock type. The aim of rock physics is to understand the relationship between geophysical observations and the underlying physical properties of the rock (Mavko et al., 2009). Physical properties include properties such as porosity, mineral composition, pore-fluid composition and sediment microstructure. By using rock physics we can start to understand the controls on electrical resistivity and anisotropy in a given area. The aim of this project is to determine the controls on electrical anisotropy in the Snohvit area of the Barents Sea and forms part of a wider study of Barents Sea electrical properties (Bouchrara et al, 2015). The Barents Sea was chosen as a study area because of the current interest in the area and the rich dataset which included well logs and CSEM surveys (Figure 1). Also the Barents Sea is geologically complex – stratigraphically, structurally, and historically (Gabrielsen et al., 1990). One component of this complexity is the presence of strong anisotropy in measured and derived electrical resistivity (Fanavoll et al., 2012).