Monitoring changes in hydrocarbon reservoir geometry and pore-fluid properties that occur during production is a critical part of estimating extraction efficiency and quantifying remaining reserves. We examine the applicability of the marine controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) method to the reservoir-monitoring problem by analyzing representative 2D models. These studies show that CSEM responses exhibit small but measureable changes that are characteristic of reservoir-depletion geometry, with lateral flooding producing a concave-up depletion-anomaly curve and bottom flooding producing a concave-down depletion-anomaly curve. Lateral flooding is also revealed by the spatial-temporal variation of the CSEM anomaly, where the edge of the response anomaly closely tracks the retreating edge of the flooding reservoir. Measureable changes in CSEM responses are observed when 10% of the resistive reservoir is replaced by conductive pore fluids. However, to avoid corrupting the relatively small signal changes associated with depletion, the acquisition geometry must be maintained to a fraction of a percent accuracy. Additional factors, such as unknown nearby seafloor inhomogeneities and variable seawater conductivity, can mask depletion anomalies if not accounted for during repeat monitoring measurements. Although addressing these factors may be challenging using current exploration CSEM practices, straightforward solutions such as permanent monuments for seafloor receivers and transmitters are available and suggest the method could be utilized with present-day technology.

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