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Chapter 11: Deterministic Mapping of Reservoir Heterogeneity in Athabasca Oil Sands Using Surface Seismic Data

By
Yong Xu
Yong Xu
Formerly at Arcis Corporation, Calgary; now with Imperial Oil, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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Satinder Chopra
Satinder Chopra
Arcis Corporation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Bitumen reserves in oil sands in Alberta, Canada represent one of the biggest such deposits in the world. The Athabasca region contains the bulk of this resource, and the Lower Cretaceous McMurray formation contains the most significant target interval. Inclined heterolithic strata and associated sand accumulations comprise most of the formation. However, the distribution of bitumen in the formation varies because of the high degree of facies heterogeneity throughout the deposit. This lithological heterogeneity causes difficulties in interpreting geology and estimating the bitumen distribution.

Surface seismic data could play an important role in characterizing the subsurface heterogeneity because they provide lateral and vertical coverage and a link to rock physics through amplitude variation with offset (AVO). However, most (with notable recent exceptions using deterministic lambda-mu-rho, shown by Bellman, 2007 and Evans and Hua, 2008) applications of surface seismic in Athabasca have been to provide attributes for statistical and neural network predictions (Tonn, 2002; Anderson et al., 2005). The relationships between seismic data and lithology are determined at the well control points by multivariate analysis or neural networks and then the lithology between wells is predicted from these relationships. However, interpreters often find these relationships less straightforward than conventional techniques.

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Contents

Geophysical Developments Series

Heavy Oils: Reservoir Characterization and Production Monitoring

Satinder Chopra
Satinder Chopra
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Laurence R. Lines
Laurence R. Lines
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Douglas R. Schmitt
Douglas R. Schmitt
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Michael L. Batzle
Michael L. Batzle
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
13
ISBN electronic:
9781560802235
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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