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Chapter 5: Surface and Subsurface Expression of Hydrocarbon Seepage in the Marco Polo Field Area, Green Canyon, Gulf of Mexico

By
Harry Dembicki, Jr.
Harry Dembicki, Jr.
1
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Geological Technology Group, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. E-mail: harry.dembicki@anadarko.com.
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David L. Connolly
David L. Connolly
2
dGb Earth Sciences, Sugar Land, Texas, U.S.A. E-mail: david.connolly@dgbes.com.
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

Seep features in the area of the Marco Polo field in the Gulf of Mexico were identified using remote sensing, conventional seismic data, and high-resolution geophysical data collected from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Using these data, the potential seep features were mapped based on their geomorphology and acoustic characteristics. Results show that a mud volcano and a mud mound field had the highest probability of macroseepage, confirmed by subsequent sampling and analysis of seafloor sediments. The 3D seismic data in the area around the Marco Polo field were also processed to highlight gas chimneys. Chimneys were highlighted using a neural network approach with directional seismic attributes. The chimney processing results showed evidence of chimneys that should provide vertical hydrocarbon migration pathways through the salt canopy. These chimneys directly underlie the Marco Polo field and provide a mechanism for charging the field. The processing also showed fault-related chimneys on the flank of the Marco Polo field. These chimneys correlate to mud mounds and a mud volcano, detected by the AUV data. The surface features associated with the chimneys contain hydrocarbon seepage, based on surface sampling. Good conformance between chimney and seafloor indications of seepage reinforces the relationship between the seeped hydrocarbons and the subsurface reservoir. These combined data have the potential for assessing seepage flux rates as well as quantifying the risk for hydrocarbon charge and seal. The work demonstrates that chimney processing and interpretation used in conjunction with seep detection has the capability to improve risk assessment in mature and frontier basins.

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Contents

Geophysical Developments Series

Hydrocarbon Seepage: From Source to Surface

Fred Aminzadeh
Fred Aminzadeh
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Timothy B. Berge
Timothy B. Berge
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David L. Connolly
David L. Connolly
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
16
ISBN electronic:
9781560803119
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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