Abstract

Time-lapse (TL) seismic monitoring has proven a valuable tool for reservoir management. If available in a timely and cost-effective manner, it can be incorporated into a dynamic reservoir management approach, spec-ifically in terms of assessing sweep efficiency through constraining reservoir simulations, quantifying compartmentalization, and enhancing the placement of infill wells. Thus, cost-effectiveness, rapid turnaround time, and sensitivity of the seismic response to subtle changes in reservoir properties evident in production data are critical assets of a robust and economic TL application. Successful applications of TL monitoring have been predominantly offshore—Gulf of Mexico and North Sea—in thick clastic reservoirs characterized as low technical risk. Changes in TL seismic images as a direct result of enhanced oil recovery operations in low compressibility, “stiff” carbonate reservoirs are so small that distinguishing reservoir fluid changes from background noise on seismic attribute maps is challenging at best and many times impossible. Consequently, reservoirs predicted to produce weak TL anomalies associated with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations are classified as high-risk cases and languish in what has been designated the “stretch portfolio” of time-lapse application in reservoir management.

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