13th Annual 3-D Seismic Symposium Preview

Title: 13th Annual 3-D Seismic Symposium Preview
Author: Ron W. Pritchett
Publication: The Outcrop, February 2007, p. 1, 6-7
Event: 3-D Seismic Symposium, March 6, 2007

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 6! The Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the Denver Geophysical Society will host a one-day conference showing seismic case histories and professionals who use 3-D seismic to identify drilling projects and increase oil and gas production. The conference will be held at the Denver Downtown Marriott Hotel.

Kickoff Speaker will be Bob A. Hardage (Senior Research Scientist, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology) who will speak on “Seismic for Independents Exploring for Unconventional Resources. ” 3-D seismic is a proved technology for prospect-generation at large and small scales. Hardage will show examples for petroleum entrepreneurs.

The keynote address is by Colin Bruce (BP North American Gas) and Jim Hollis (I/O, Inc.) on “BP’s World-Record Seismic Program near Wamsutter, Wyoming.” A very large 3-D seismic program was completed in the Green River Basin, using “Firefly” wireless technology for speed and data acquisition with minimal environmental impact.

Vincent G. Rigatti (Questar — Denver) will describe the structural style on a 200-square-mile 3-D program in the Vermillion Basin of northwestern Colorado (a sub-basin of the Green River Basin). The area includes E & W Hiawatha, Canyon Creek-Trail, Kinney, and Sugarloaf fields, which produce mostly from Cretaceous Mesaverde sandstones (cumulative production approximately I TCFG and 5 million BO). The area is just east of the Uinta Mountains and sediments are deformed by compressional tectonics and younger extension. Emerging plays include gas targets in the Baxter Shale, Frontier, and Dakota sandstones. Rigatti and his team assembled data from three separate 3-D surveys, integrating well and production-performance data to derive a 3-D pore-pressure volume across the 3-D seismic area. The mapping is used for well planning in areas of abnormal pressure.

Robert Kidney (EOG Resources — Denver) will talk about fault and fracture characterization in the Natural Buttes Field of the Uinta Basin, Utah, which produces oil and gas from the Eocene/Paleocene Wasatch Formation and Mesaverde Group sandstones. Kidney et al used azimuthal 3-D seismic velocity attributes in their 80-square-mile survey. They integrated well and production data to derive a fault and fracture model for a portion of the field (Coyote Wash).

Susan Nissen (Consultant — McLouth, Kansas) will describe smaller scale results from a 2-square-mile survey designed to show features in the Paleozoic Mississippian carbonates of Ness County, Kansas. Fractures play a major role in oil and water production. Nissan and her team used curvature attributes to identify faults, fractures, flexures, and folds, as well as mapping open and filled fractures to guide applied techniques for optimized oil production such as targeted infill drilling, horizontal drilling, and gel-polymer treatments.

In the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, Rob Horine (BP America — Houston) and his team thought that a 10% increase in well productivity from Cretaceous sandstones would justify the cost of a 3-D survey across BP’s acreage. The team acquired 180 square miles of 3-D data, designed for wide-azimuth and increased trace-density coverage. BP managed to acquire the data across rough terrain and sensitive cultural sites while protecting threatened and endangered species. Azimuthal NMO (normal move-out) and AVO (amplitude-versus-offset) attributes were calibrated to well data to identify open fractures. The team included coherence technology to refine fracture interpretations, and they report a 40% increase in well productivity from the 3-D seismic program.

Data integration and curvature analysis are featured in Charles Blumentritt’s (Geo-Texture Technologies-Houston) talk on fracture mapping in the prolific gas-producing Mississippian Barnett Shale of the Fort Worth Basin, Texas. Drilling-induced fractures were found on an FMI log, showing the direction of maximum horizontal stress in the local case. Folds from curvature analysis of a 3-D seismic volume showed a similar trend in the area, suggesting a survey-wide use of 3-D data for curvature information for fracture models.

Also for the Barnett Shale, Jamie Rich and Mike Ammerman (Devon Energy) integrated fracture information from cores, FMI logs (Formation Micro-Imager) and dipole sonic logs in vertical and horizontal wells. The core-scale deformation was compared to reservoir-scale patterns in a 3-D seismic program, enabling the authors to calibrate reservoir-scale data for fracture orientation and density. In this talk, the authors show how to improve interpretation of a 3-D survey in a gas shale area by integrating well-bore data.

In the shallow gas area of central Montana, Eric Johnson (Johnson Geophysical — Billings) will show a “low-tech” approach to 3-D imagery for Cretaceous Eagle sandstone gas targets at depths between 500 to 1,200 feet. Overall, the play has yielded more than 600 BCFG. Successful wells are located on fault-bounded structures that range from 40 to 640 acres in size. Johnson will show how 1-2 fold data can be used to interpret the structures. The “cost effective” program also provides a look at deeper, Mississippian Lodgepole reef targets.

Trends of open fractures can be mapped when geoscientists combine stratigraphy with curvature analysis from a 3-D seismic volume. Satinder Chopra (Arcis Corp. — Calgary) will use Canadian Foothills (British Columbia) examples “calibrating” volumetric curvature data with open-fractures in outcrops and FIMI log data. This Canadian example of data integration gives petroleum finders more tools in the hunt for oil and gas.

There are more field data integrated with 3-D seismic! Brian Elias (Anadarko Petroleum — Denver) will show how oil recovery is enhanced with high-resolution 3-D seismic in an old field — Salt Creek Field of Natrona County, Wyoming. The Salt Creek oil seep was recognized in the 1880s. A discovery well was drilled in 1908, and now — Original Oil-in-Place is estimated at 1.68 billion barrels at approximately 2,000 feet depth. Anadarko is now injecting C02 for enhanced recovery, and the “stakeless” 3-D survey across 53 square miles of the anticline details reservoir compartments, faults and fracturing previously unrecognized, in both the shallow Cretaceous section and the deeper granitic basement.

Imagine a seismic survey in a gas basin that includes 3-D and time, nine components of directional sensing, and microseismic. Dr. Tom Davis (Colorado School of Mines), Murray Roth (Transform Software), and Julie Shemeta (Pinnacle Technologies) will present an update of seismic applications for the Rulison Field of the Piceance Basin, Colorado. Multi-component time-lapse is featured, together with faster interpretation turn-around (a “renaissance!”) for the dynamic tight-gas sandstone reservoirs of the Upper Cretaceous of the Piceance Basin that hold more than 300 TCFG.

Conference Co-Chairmen Bill Pearson and R. Randy Ray and your 3-D committee are hustling to bring worthwhile examples in a total of 12 presentations to help you be informed about the latest in 3-D technology for superior petroleum exploration and development.

The one-day event packs abundant information and value into a short space. We provide lunch and a program booklet with expanded abstracts of talks. The event is mid-week, so participants may plan a trip to Denver to include the following weekend and access to the best skiing conditions in years! Last year the symposium sold out early with 600 attendees. Sign-up now for the important March 6th networking event, and participate in this must-see 13th Annual 3-D Seismic Symposium! Register now on-line at the RMAG website (www.rmag.org ), and check your mail for a flyer with more conference details.

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