Petroleum System Based Integrated Exploration and Prospect Generation

Dubey, Siddharth (Schlumberger) | Das, Debjyoti (Schlumberger)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Identification of a prospect is normally done based on seismic interpretation and geological understanding of the area. However, due to the inherent uncertainties of the data we still observe in many cases that all key petroleum system elements are present, but still the drilled prospect is dry. Such failures are mostly attributed to a lack of understanding of seal capacity, reservoir heterogeneity, source rock presence and maturation, hydrocarbon migration, and relative timing of these processes. The workflow described in this paper aims to improve discovery success rates by deploying a more rigorous and structured approach. It is guided by the play-based exploration risk assessment process. The starting point is always that the process is guided by the the basic understanding of a mature kitchen should always be based on a regional scale petroleum systems model. However, while evaluating prospects, the migration and entrapment component of a prospect should always be investigated by means of a locally refined grid-based petroleum system model. The uniquepart of this approach is the construction of a high-resolution static model covering the prospects, which is built by using available well data, seismo-geological trends and attributes to capture reservoir potential. Additional inputs such as fault seal analysis also helps to understand prospect scale migration and associated geological risks. In the regional play and local prospect-scale petroleum system models, geological and geophysical inputs are utilized to create the uncertainty distribution for each input parameter which is required for assessing the success case volume of identified prospects. The evaluated risk is combined with the volumetric uncertainty in a probabilistic way to derive the risked volumetrics. It is further translated into an economic evaluation of the prospect by integrating inputs like estimated production profiles, appropriate fiscal models, HC price decks, etc. This enables the economic viability of the prospects to be assessed, resulting in a portfolio with proper ranking to build a decision-tree leading to execution and operations in ensuing drilling campaigns.