Abstract

Hydrocarbon reservoirs are often monitored using repeated seismic observations to track fluid movement and other changes. Here, we present a study of compaction-induced anisotropy in an unconsolidated overpressured sandstone reservoir from Teal South field in the Gulf of Mexico. Previous work at Teal South had demonstrated that the time-lapse observations could not be satisfied through models of fluid changes without strong pressure effects acting on the formation rock framework. However, those studies are not highly quantitative, and some minor inconsistencies appear on closer examination. We have examined the effect of the pressure-sensitivity of elastic moduli in the formation and carefully examined the offset-dependence of amplitudes in light of several rock-physics models, empirical and theoretical. The amplitude-variation-with-offset behavior for the interface between overlying shale and the hydrocarbon sand is best modeled under the assumption that this overpressured reservoir becomes anisotropic because it undergoes compaction during production, which reduces the reservoir pressure from highly overpressured to nearly normal for this depth. Although the results obtained here are only weakly constrained due to the limited offset ranges and low fold, this strongly suggests that anisotropic effects in poorly consolidated overpressured reservoirs undergoing primary depletion may in fact dominate over fluid effects after the bubble point has been reached.

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