The ingredients of seismic interpretation include the right mix of geological and geophysical knowledge, together with a liberal dose of imagination, tempered with a considerable amount of patience. Seismic interpretation is a skill that one acquires with experience, but is constantly reinvigorated with new ideas and tools provided by younger university graduates. The prime ingredients for seismic interpretation are seismic reflection data coupled with a geologic depositional and tectonic model which together provide the framework for integrating borehole, microseismic, and production data resulting in a good reservoir model. Although commonly used in both engineering and environmental applications, most seismic reflection surveys are acquired for oil and gas exploration in both land and offshore areas around the world. Hydrocarbon accumulations are found at varying depths of a few thousand meters below the Earth's surface which are ultimately confirmed by drilling. Because the cost of drilling closely spaced wells can be prohibitively expensive, interpreted seismic data provide not only initial well locations in a wildcat environment, but also, when coupled statistically with production and well-log data, locations with higher probability of success in a resource play having hundreds of wells.

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