In this case study we present the results from time-lapse analysis on a Wide Azimuth Towed Streamer (WATS) data set from 2010 that was compared to a pre-production Narrow Azimuth Towed Streamer (NATS) data set from 2002 at King / Horn Mountain (KHM) Fields in the Gulf of Mexico. The WATS data set was acquired to improve the overall imaging of the fields and was not acquired for the goal of time-lapse. Nevertheless, we were able to extract a clear time-lapse signal from the WATS survey. The cost of extracting this time-lapse signal was highly reduced compared to a conventional dedicated time-lapse streamer survey acquisition as it only required reprocessing.
Combined processing of these datasets was a technological challenge. The two datasets were co-binned onto a common grid and a common narrow azimuth dataset was extracted. This dataset was analyzed and interpreted and a clear time-lapse signal was observed in the extra-salt areas. The observations in the time-lapse signal were similar to the previously acquired dedicated time-lapse survey from 2005. The noise level from the WATS on NATS time-lapse was higher than from the conventional dedicated time-lapse survey, but the signal was strong enough to be observable above background noise. Observations from this time-lapse project allow us to better understand the production history of the field, lower the risk on some of the infill targets and avoid drilling wells into potential gas caps that may have formed in the fields. The results from this study demonstrate that usable time-lapse observations can be extracted from combining WATS and NATS data at a much reduced cost.
The effect of single-phase fluid saturation on the seismic bulk modulus of a rock is well understood; however, the behavior becomes more complex when multiple fluids are present. Several fluid mixing theories have been developed (e.g., Voigt, Reuss, and Hill) and each is valid in certain situations; however, in some scenarios it is unclear which theory to select, or indeed whether any are accurate. The critical wave propagation behavior depends on the manner that fluids are spatially distributed within the rock, compared to a seismic wavelength. We apply elastic finite-difference modeling to different rock-fluid distribution scenarios and replicate behavior described by various theoretical, empirical and lab data results. Significantly, our results compare well with observations from lab experiments, yet do not rely on poroelastic or squirt-flow models whose parameters are difficult to estimate in real reservoir settings. Our elastic scattering approach is less computationally expensive than poroelastic modeling and can be more easily applied to actual reservoir rock and fluid distributions. Our results provide us with a powerful new tool to analyze and predict the effects of multiple fluids and ‘patchy’ saturation on elastic moduli and seismic velocities. They also challenge assumptions about the controlling factors on saturated bulk moduli, suggesting they are more strongly affected by the spatial fluid distribution properties and wave scattering, than by pore-scale fluid flow effects.
A modified inversion approach is presented for the effective separation of sources in marine simultaneous shooting acquisition. The method aims to distribute all energy in the simultaneous shot records by reconstructing the individual shot records at their respective locations. The method is applied to a simulated simultaneous long offset data set, where two sources are used to acquire long offsets with conventional cables. In the second example, the performance is investigated on a data set from Western Australia, where two sources where located within close proximity, with only a small cross line distance between them. Results demonstrate that the individual sources can be separated satisfactory for both simultaneous source configurations.
The ability of the marine controlled source electromagnetic method to resolve anisotropy in the sediment conductivity is not very well understood. In this study, we address the resolvability of anisotropy using a Bayesian approach. Two markedly different methods, slice sampling and reversible jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo have been used for the Bayesian inversion of a synthetic model of a resistive oil reservoir trapped beneath the seabed. We use this to identify which components of data can provide the strongest constraints on anisotropy in the overburden, reservoir and underlying sediments.
Uncertainties in marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data consist of two independent parts: measurement noise and position uncertainties. Measurement noise can be readily determined using stacking statistics in the Fourier domain. The uncertainties due to errors in position can be estimated using perturbation analysis given estimates of the uncertainties in transmitter-receiver geometries. However, the various geometric parameters are not independent (e.g. change in antenna dip affects antenna altitude, etc.) so how uncertainties derived from perturbation analysis can be combined to derive error-bars on CSEM data is not obvious. In this study, we use data from the 2009 survey of the Scarborough gas field to demonstrate that (a) a repeat tow may be used to quantify uncertainties from geometry, (b) perturbation analysis also yields a good estimate of data uncertainties as a function of range and frequency so long as the components are added arithmetically rather than in quadrature, and (c) lack of a complex error structure in inversion yields model results which are unrealistic and leads to “over-selling” of the capabilities of CSEM at any particular prospect.
In some areas, seismic data can exhibit the effects of strong azimuthal anisotropy (AA). One of the major causes of AA can be anomalous horizontal stress regimes, which can be modeled as horizontally transverse isotropy (HTI). The Stybarrow field, located offshore NW Australia in the Carnarvon sedimentary basin, is one such area, where strong horizontal stress conditions have been present throughout the basin’s tectonic history. We find evidence for AA in repeat 3D seismic data acquired at two separate azimuths over the Stybarrow field. AA is observed in amplitude versus offset (AVO) reflection amplitude difference maps and cross plots, and is consistent with dipole shear logs and borehole breakout data in the area. We model azimuthal AVO responses using Ruger’s HTI AVO equation, using the anisotropy parameters derived from dipole shear logs, and compare the results with AVO data from the two 3D seismic surveys. Certain fault blocks (but not all) exhibit the same AAVO trend in the seismic data as those modeled from log data, consistent with a stress-induced HTI anisotropic model interpretation.
Seismic methods have the benefit of being noninvasive while providing continuous field-scale (hundreds of meters) information on subsurface characteristics of permafrost-affected soils. Imaging approaches based on surface wave propagation (e.g. MASW) are effective when characterizaing near-surface permafrost alteration (e.g. active zone freeze/thaw cycles) for at least two reasons: (1) energetic propagations within the top 10s of meters of the subsurface; (2) its direct indications on shear wave velocity, a sensitive indicator of soil matrix properties. We present a four-phase rock physics model developed for mapping frozen soil material properties to seismic observables. We predict seasonal variations in P- and S-wave velocities from the rock physics model based on existing in situ ground temperature measurements. We also conduct numerical simulations of seismic wave propagations based upon velocity models derived from rock physics model predictions. Surface wave dispersion analysis results generated from the resultant synthetic seismograms show that seismic methods, especially surface-wave-based approaches, are very promising approaches for delineating subsurface features in permafrost environments such as active layer thickness (ALT) variations, ice saturation, unfrozen water content, and soil texture, etc.