Seismic Applications

My career in the oil and gas industry started in 1975. Shortly thereafter, a theme that became wildly popular in conferences, workshops, and internal boardrooms was better integration of seismic with other oilfield disciplines. Initial progress was slow, but, if we fast-forward to today, we see that significant strides indeed have been made. A good representation of integration papers appeared this past year, so that is the theme we will use.

Advancement of the integration of seismic with other oilfield disciplines has been fueled by two factors. First, evolutionary advances in seismic technologies naturally led to more-powerful integration. A simple example is the progress made in bandwidth. In this regard, advances in seismic sources, field recording equipment, and data processing all benefited interpretation, inversion, and reservoir modeling. For example, in the 1980s, a commonly used vibrator sweep in land surveys was 12–48 Hz. Today, sweeps start as low as 2 Hz and often go up to more than 100 Hz. The benefits to resolution and derisking have been striking.

Second, several developments in seismic were motivated in direct response to the needs of interpreters and engineers. For instance, the appearance of creative, new, high-channel-count survey designs provided full-azimuth, densely sampled data that led to striking advances in imaging complex structures (especially in subsalt settings) and provided the wherewithal for characterizing natural fractures and stress in both conventional and unconventional plays. Indeed, this tighter integration of seismic with geomechanics energized the rise of the microseismic technique.

Six integration papers were selected. Three are presented here in summary format, and three are listed for additional reading. They come from all over the world, cover a range of reservoir lithologies, and deal with a suite of geologic settings. Let’s keep the progress moving.

This Month's Technical Papers

3D Close-the-Loop Method Based on Probabilistic Seismic Inversion

High-Resolution Seismic Stochastic Inversion as a Direct Input for Reservoir Modeling

Fracture Modeling Using a Constructed Discrete Fracture Network From Seismic Data

Recommended additional reading

SPE 183289 Seismic Reservoir Characterization of Carbonate Reservoirs—Case Study of the Mishrif Formation, Zubair Field, Iraq by J.M. Rodrigues, Eni, et al.

IPTC 18956 Seismic-Driven Lithofacies for Geological-Model Infilling in a Deep Offshore Turbiditic Field—Case Study by Victoriano Da Silva, Total E&P, et al.

SPE 181872 Microseismic Mapping Improves Understanding of a Complex Reservoir: A Case Study in a Southern Sichuan Shale Gas Field by Yang Wang, Halliburton, et al.

Mark S. Egan, SPE, is a consulting geophysicist. He worked for Schlumberger and its heritage companies from 1975 to 2016, at which time he retired. Egan’s last position at Schlumberger was as global chief area geophysicist in the Land Unconventionals Group within the WesternGeco segment. His previous postings included chief geophysicist positions in North America, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and London. Egan holds a PhD degree in geophysics, an MS degree in acoustics, and a BS degree in physics and mathematics. He is a member of SPE, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, and various local societies. Egan is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee and can be reached at

Seismic Applications

Mark S. Egan, SPE, Consulting Geophysicist

01 March 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 3

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