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Book Chapter

Unlocking 4D seismic technology to maximize recovery from the pre-salt Rotliegend gas fields of the Southern North Sea

By
Jonathan Brain
Jonathan Brain
1
Shell UK Ltd, 1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen AB12 3FY, UK
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Thomas Lassaigne
Thomas Lassaigne
2
Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM), Schepersmaat 2, 9405 TA Assen, The Netherlands
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Mathieu Darnet
Mathieu Darnet
2
Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM), Schepersmaat 2, 9405 TA Assen, The Netherlands
3
Present address: BRGM, 3 avenue Claude-Guillemin, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans cedex 2, France
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Peter Van Loevezijn
Peter Van Loevezijn
2
Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM), Schepersmaat 2, 9405 TA Assen, The Netherlands
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract

The Southern North Sea is a mature gas basin, producing mainly from faulted Permian Rotliegend sandstones. Identifying infill well opportunities in un-depleted or partially depleted blocks in these fields is challenging, particularly if the sealing capacity of faults within a field is uncertain. Time-lapse (4D) seismic monitoring provides an opportunity to identify depleted reservoir blocks by measuring differences in travel time across the producing interval between seismic surveys acquired before and after gas production. 4D seismic field tests were initially performed by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) and Shell in 2001. However, the observed travel-time differences proved to be smaller than predicted and any possible signals were too noisy to confidently detect depletion. Since then, advances in seismic acquisition and processing technology have improved the accuracy of 4D measurements and enabled the effective mapping of 4D related gas depletion signals. 4D seismic has now been deployed over a number of fields in the Southern North Sea, and a portfolio of infill opportunities has been identified. In 2015, the first 4D targeted infill well was successfully drilled into a block with limited depletion. This technology represents a breakthrough for operators seeking to maximize hydrocarbon recovery and extend field life in the Rotliegend play of the Southern North Sea.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Petroleum Geology of NW Europe: 50 Years of Learning – Proceedings of the 8th Petroleum Geology Conference

M. Bowman
M. Bowman
University of Manchester, UK
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B. Levell
B. Levell
University of Oxford, UK
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
8
ISBN electronic:
9781786203151
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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