In the Abu Madi Formation of the Nile Delta Basin, false bright spots may be misinterpreted as being indicative of hydrocarbons due to mixed clastics and carbonates. However, rock-physics analysis of well logs in a particular prospect area where such ambiguity exists suggests that attributes derived using extended elastic impedance (EEI) inversion may help identify hydrocarbons because they better show anomalous behavior in particular directions that are readily related to pore fluids and lithology. The EEI attributes calculated from well logs correlate extremely well to lithology and fluid properties, thereby differentiating amplitude anomalies caused by gas-bearing sandstones encased in shale from similar amplitudes caused by juxtaposition of high-impedance carbonates over lower impedance water-filled sandstones. Comparing seismically derived EEI attributes to well logs from a productive well and a nonproductive well indicates that seismic inversion can successfully identify lithologies such as shales, sandstones, carbonates, and anhydrite and distinguish gas-bearing from water-bearing sandstones. The technique can thus potentially be used to better delineate and risk prospects in the area, as well as assisting exploration efforts in other locations where similar ambiguities in amplitude interpretation exist.

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