Integrated use of 3D seismic in field development, engineering and drilling: examples from the shallow section
Bryn Austin, 2004. "Integrated use of 3D seismic in field development, engineering and drilling: examples from the shallow section", 3D Seismic Technology: Application to the Exploration of Sedimentary Basins, Richard J. Davies, Joseph A. Cartwright, Simon A. Stewart, Mark Lappin, John R. Underhill
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Examples from exploration acreage and field developments across the glaciated Northwest European Continental Shelf and Slope demonstrate the usefulness of conventional three-dimensional (3D) seismic data to spatially image geological features. Compared to previous grid-based two-dimensional (2D) seismic this allows fundamentally more confident identification, mapping and prediction of geotechnical conditions which is important to ensure safe, efficient engineering and drilling operations. Whilst of immense benefit, the paper argues that the 3D seismic data often do not meet the full expectations, particularly in terms of critical vertical resolution and accurate depth prediction requirements. To illustrate the limitations, direct comparison is made between conventionally acquired 3D and HiRes 2D seismic data. Whilst industry funding to support innovative HiRes 3D seismic acquisition remains sparse, much can be achieved by the careful integration and interpretative calibration of the 3D and HiRes 2D seismic datasets. Three field development case studies illustrate this. Short offset trace correction and reprocessing of the 3D seismic data followed by limited, target specific HiRes 2D seismic, calibrated where possible with drilling or other geological data, is an optimal cost-effective approach.
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A ‘new age’ of subsurface geological mapping that is just as far ranging in scope as the frontier source geological mapping campaigns of the past two centuries in emerging. It is the direct result of the advent of 2D, and subsequently 3D, seismic data paralleled by advances in seismic acquisition and processing over the past three decades. Subsurface mapping is fuelled by the economic drive to explore and recover hydrocarbons but inevitably it will lead to major conceptual advances in Earth sciences, across a broader range of disciplines than those made during the 2D seismic revolution of the 1970s. Now that 3D seismic data coverage has increased and the technology is widely available we are poised to mine the full intellectual and economic benefits. This book illustrates how 3D seismic technology is being used to understand depositional systems and stratigraphy, structural and igneous geology, in developing and producing from hydrocarbon reservoirs and also what recent technological advances have been made. This technological journey is a fast-moving one where the remaining scientific potential still far exceeds the scope of the advances made thus far. This book explores the breadth of the opportunities that lie ahead as well as the inevitable accompanying challeges.