Seismic 4D monitoring technology has not been as widely employed for gas fields as it has for oil. Many gas fields rely on depletion drive, which has a 4D seismic response that can be uncertain and difficult to predict. On the other hand, aquifer-supported gas fields with measurable water ingress have a reasonable chance of success in terms of generating an interpretable 4D amplitude signal. Pluto gas field in the North West Shelf of Australia falls into this category. Following discovery in 2005, Pluto was appraised by five wells, which found a consistent gas gradient and gas-water contact across the entire field and its various reservoirs. Gas production began in 2012. Time-lapse seismic feasibility studies concluded that gas-saturation changes could be observed with a monitor seismic survey acquired three to four years after first gas. The Pluto 4D Monitor 1 survey was acquired at the start of 2016 and revealed both hardening and softening anomalies. Hardening is interpreted as water ingress (expected) and softening as gas expansion (unexpected). The Pluto 4D results provided important insights into reservoir connectivity and discontinuities. Large hardening anomalies at the TR27 (lower) level can be clearly seen in the data, showing avenues for water ingress. More importantly, a large softening anomaly below the original gas-water contact in the TR29 (upper) reservoir is interpreted to be gas expansion into the aquifer created by a U-tubing effect around a possible barrier in the gas leg. This suggests that the entire TR29 reservoir may not be accessed by the producing PLA04 well. Based on this 4D interpretation, the PLA07 well was drilled and completed in 2019 to produce the TR29 gas updip from the gas expansion anomaly and to increase Pluto field recovery.

You do not currently have access to this article.