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This case history presents design considerations, processing techniques, and drilling results from a 3-D seismic survey acquired in the pinnacle reef trend of Scurry County, Texas. Pennsylvanian age reefs in this area have long been lucrative but elusive exploration objectives. Their small areal extent and random location pattern have often frustrated explorationists interpreting conventional 2-D seismic data. Through the example shown here, it becomes apparent that pinnacle reef objectives can be located with much-improved confidence using the 3-D seismic method.

The survey has approximately 9 mi2 (23 km2) of surface coverage, more than adequate for a proper migration aperture at the objective horizon. The reefs in question are reasonably identified with a 3-D grid consisting of 110 × 110-ft (33 × 33-m) bin spacing. Economic considerations and accessibility constraints greatly affect the design of the survey. Processing techniques include 3-D surface-consistent statics, post-stack FX (spacial deconvolution) filtering to reduce random noise, and 3-D migration.

Interpretation of the migrated 3-D volume identified several possible drilling locations. Time slice presentations at the pinnacle reef level clearly identified three subsequent producing locations and helped reconcile two previous nonproductive wells. Geophysical and economic success in this survey show that the 3-D seismic technique can solve several of the problems previously encountered using conventional 2-D seismic data.

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