ABSTRACT

Determination of a petroleum reservoir structure and rock bulk properties relies extensively on inference from reflection seismology. However, classic deterministic methods to invert seismic data for reservoir properties suffer from some limitations, among which are the difficulty of handling complex, possibly nonlinear forward models, and the lack of robust uncertainty estimations. To overcome these limitations, we studied a methodology to invert seismic reflection data in the framework of the probabilistic approach to inverse problems, using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (McMC) algorithm with the goal to directly infer the rock facies and porosity of a target reservoir zone. We thus combined a rock-physics model with seismic data in a single inversion algorithm. For large data sets, the McMC method may become computationally impractical, so we relied on multiple-point-based a priori information to quantify geologically plausible models. We tested this methodology on a synthetic reservoir model. The solution of the inverse problem was then represented by a collection of facies and porosity reservoir models, which were samples of the posterior distribution. The final product included probability maps of the reservoir properties in obtained by performing statistical analysis on the collection of solutions.

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