The 1998 Alba 3D Ocean Bottom Cable (OBC) survey was designed to accomplish multiple objectives. The primary goal was to image low impedance reservoir sands with converted wave (PS) reflections; one important secondary goal was to image fluid movement by comparing the OBC data with a 1989 streamer survey. Modelling shows that a strong original oil–water contact reflector should be visible throughout much of the field and that water saturation changes should be observable by analysing the time-lapse differences between the 1989 streamer data and 1998 OBC survey. Differences between the 1989 and 1998 seismic field data confirm that fluid changes are clearly visible near several producing and injector wells. However, extracting additional quantitative saturation information from the seismic data has proven difficult, possibly because of: (a) complex interaction between the fluids, sands and shales within the Alba reservoir; (b) moderate to poor repeatability of the seismic response to reservoir fluids.

The focus of this paper is the acquisition and analysis of Alba time-lapse data. We show that production- and injection-related effects are predicted by modelling and observed in the data and then we make an attempt to relate these effects quantitatively to oil production and water injection. Despite the challenges in using the Alba time-lapse data quantitatively, the data have been successfully used qualitatively for well planning risk assessment and for guiding reservoir simulation efforts. Lessons from this work will be used in any future time-lapse surveys at Alba.

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