12th Annual 3-D Symposium Preview

Title: 12th Annual 3-D Symposium Preview
Author: Ron W. Pritchett
Publication: The Outcrop, February 2006, p. 1, 5

Friday, March 10th, at the Denver Downtown Marriott Hotel, you can see case-history examples and cutting-edge seismic technology related to oil and gas in the Rockies. The Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the Denver Geophysical Society will host the 12th annual one-day conference showcasing petroleum projects and professionals who are engaged in exciting theory and practical applications of 3-D seismic.

Kickoff Speaker is Rutt Bridges (CEO of Transform Software and Services and Director of the Bighorn Center for Public Policy), who will describe large future opportunities and risks faced by operators in Rockies basins, with: “The Next Ten Years in the Rockies: Demand, Technology, and Politics.” Rutt will show how to combine superior geophysical techniques with wise public partnerships for success.

The keynote address is by Stephen R. Kneller (VP Exploration) and Sally Zinke (Division Geophysicist) of Ultra Petroleum, who will describe integrated G&G methods for exploiting the fourth-largest field in the United States, with “Unlocking the Potential of a Tight Gas Sand Giant: Pinedale Field, Green River Basin, Wyoming.” How does a company convert a resource in-the-ground to proved status at a production rate of over 700 mcfd, in just six years? Ultra uses 3-D seismic as a management tool for predicting optimum drilling and development. See how the Ultra team combines core analysis, log calibration, and cross-well seismic tomography to develop this 80-square-mile area with Original Gas In Place (OGIP) of 44 TCFG from sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous Lance Formation. New directional drilling from pads using electric drilling units helps control costs and minimize surface impact.

And in the southern Uinta Basin, Utah, see a new gas producer in the Peter’s Point Field complex just west of the Green River, with an initial production rate of 11.4 mcfd. Roy Roux and co-authors from Bill Barrett Corp. will show how the company used 3-D seismic to define and discover gas reservoirs of the Jurassic Navajo, Entrada, and Cretaceous Dakota sandstones. This “Story of Persistence” is about how the operator carefully planned and executed an 83-sq.-mi. 3-D seismic survey on federal land with challenging topography and cultural concerns, resulting in reservoir mapping, a discovery well, many development locations, and multiple-zone potential.

Galen Treadgold of Weinman GeoScience will describe the Barnett Shale (Mississippian age, Ft. Worth Basin, Texas) reservoir example with lessons for other Paleozoic black shales and applications of 3-D seismic. Gas shales are abundant, unconventional reservoirs that require new approaches for commercial production. In the Barnett Shale, producing wells number more than 2,340, with 2.7 TCF of gas proved. Shale-gas reservoirs include drilling risk, and Treadgold will show how the decision process includes a combination of 3-D seismic interpretation, visualization, inversion techniques, and attribute analysis to avoid dry holes and maximize production.

What about visualization? Graphics Processing Displays (GPDs), popular in computer games, are also applied in seismic three-dimensional displays and in tools for interactive processing. See Steve Lynch of Divestco describe new visualization techniques for better interpretation with examples from West Texas, Wyoming, Alberta, and the Gulf of Mexico. Jim Bogardus of PGS Onshore will bring theory to practice by showing how high trace density (HD3D) can improve “signal-to-noise, frequency retention, and steep dip preservation through finer spatial sampling.” Jim will show an example from the Wichita Mountain Front of SW Oklahoma. Toward visualizing gas reservoirs in the Wind River Basin of Wyoming, combine neural network modeling with “simultaneous inversion that generates P-Impedance, S-Impedance and Density volumes from P-Wave PreStackAngle Gather seismic” and you’ve got a way to estimate reservoir porosity volume vs. shale volume. Jeff Meredith of Veritas Hampson-Russell and Ken Parrott with Bill Barrett Corporation will show their techniques applied to the Cooper Reservoir and the upper Cretaceous Lance sandstones.

There’s more on structure! Bill Keach of Halliburton Digital and Consulting Solutions with John McBride and Tom Morris of Brigham Young University will talk about structural styles of Mesozoic and Late Cretaceous-Cenozoic orogenies in the Moxa Arch area of the western Green River Basin, Wyoming. 3-D seismic data and visualization methods reveal “thin and thick skin deformation” and complex, high-angle faults that cut through the sedimentary column. On the northeast side of the basin, consultant Chris Stiteler will describe his findings from a 122.5-sq.-mi. 3-D survey across Jonah and Pinedale Fields. Thrusting and wrenching associated with the Wind River Uplift are also described as transpressional shortening of the Green River Basin. Seismic interpretation shows the sequence and interaction of folds and faults, including one mile of left-lateral slip on the South Jonah fault zone.

What about the Piceance Basin? See how to identify gas reservoirs with shear and compression (Vp/Vs) ratios in a talk by Reinaldo J. Michelena of iReservoir.com, Inc. and co-authors Tom Davis and Bob Benson from Colorado School of Mines. Using 3D-9C (nine-component) data, authors characterize gas and water saturation, low-clay content in sandstones, and overpressure conditions from a Rulison Field example that has 4-D seismic coverage.

Canada gas! To help you find reservoir quality together with hydrocarbons, see Ron Larson of Apache Canada, Ltd. talk about “Channel Sweet Spots” using a multicomponent, or “Full Wave” survey in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, east-central Alberta. Drape PS attributes on PP structure and map locations with improved well performance! The workflow for interpretation of full-wave surveys, demonstrated in this example for a coal and fluvial sandstone sequence, has applications in other basins.

Conference Co-Chairmen William Pearson (Pearson Technologies), Randy Ray (Julander Energy Company), and your 3-D committee members are planning for 13 presentations of useful and worthwhile examples to help you achieve 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 a summary of talks. The event is right before a weekend, making it more convenient for out-of-town participants who may organize business and pleasure. Sign-up now for the March 10th event, and participate in this must-see 12th 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.