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E-book

A Petroleum Geologist's Guide to Seismic Reflection

ISBN: 978-1-4443-9786-4
176 pages
March 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
A Petroleum Geologist
This book is written for advanced earth science students, geologists, petroleum engineers and others who want to get quickly ‘up to speed’ on the interpretation of reflection seismic data. It is a development of material given to students on the MSc course in Petroleum Geology at Aberdeen University and takes the form of a course manual rather than a systematic textbook. It can be used as a self-contained course for individual study, or as the basis for a class programme.

The book clarifies those aspects of the subject that students tend to find difficult, and provides insights through practical tutorials which aim to reinforce and deepen understanding of key topics and provide the reader with a measure of feedback on progress. Some tutorials may only involve drawing simple diagrams, but many are computer-aided (PC based) with graphics output to give insight into key steps in seismic data processing or into the seismic response of some common geological scenarios. Part I of the book covers basic ideas and it ends with two tutorials in 2-D structural interpretation. Part II concentrates on the current seismic reflection contribution to reservoir studies, based on 3-D data.

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Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Part I Basic topics and 2D interpretation.

1 Introduction and overview 3

1.1 Exploration geophysics in petroleum exploration 3

1.2 The principle of seismic reflection surveying 3

1.3 Overview of the seismic reflection industry 4

1.4 A brief history of seismic surveying 5

1.5 Societies, books and journals 5

2 Geophysical signal description 6

2.1 Overview 6

2.2 Cosine waves 6

2.3 Signals and spectra 8

2.4 Periodic waveforms: Fourier series 8

2.5 Seismic wavelets 9

2.6 Wavelet characteristics: time and frequency domains 10

2.7 Digitization of signals 12

2.8 Fourier description of space-dependent quantities 13

Tutorials: 13

Tutorial 2.1 Consolidating ideas of frequency and phase shift 13

Tutorial 2.2 Fourier summation of a periodic waveform 14

Tutorial 2.3 The transition from periodic waveform to wavelet: program FOURSYN 15

Tutorial 2.4 Amplitude and phase-shift changes in the wavelet: program FOURSYN 15

3 Data acquisition 17

3.1 General points 17

3.2 Seismic sources and receivers 17

3.3 Static corrections 18

3.4 Recording and presentation of data 18

3.5 Common mid-point (CMP) shooting 19

3.6 The attack on noise 20

3.7 3D surveys 22

4 Seismic wave propagation 24

4.1 Introduction 24

4.2 P-wave 24

4.3 Controls on P-wave velocity 24

4.4 P-wave waveforms 26

4.5 Shear waves and surface waves 26

4.6 P-wave attenuation 27

4.6.1 Spherical spreading 27

4.6.2 Frequency-dependent attenuation 27

4.7 P-wave transmission paths 27

4.7.1 Wavefronts and raypaths for a single interface 28

4.7.2 Reflection coefficient and wavelet polarity 29

4.7.3 Ray-tracing in seismic modelling 29

Tutorials: 30

Tutorial 4.1 P- and S-wave particle motion on screen: program PSWAVE 30

Tutorial 4.2 Basic measurements of time, velocity and depth 30

Tutorial 4.3 Drawing the reflection wavefront from Huygens's Principle 30

Tutorial 4.4 Calculating typical reflection coefficients from well data 31

5 The process of reflection 33

5.1 Introduction 33

5.2 Fresnel zones 33

5.3 Fresnel zones and the seismic reflection 33

5.4 Faults and diffractions 34

5.5 Hyperbolae on stacked time sections 35

5.6 The reflection as a summation of hyperbolae 36

5.7 Resolution of the seismic reflection method 36

5.8 Multiple reflections: common modes 37

5.9 Multiples: the scale of the problem 38

Tutorials: 39

Tutorial 5.1 Seismic expression of a ‘point’ reflector 39

Tutorial 5.2 Water-layer multiples spoil a deep reservoir interval: program CMPGATHER 39

6 Velocity analysis, CMP stacking and post-stack migration 41

6.1 General points 41

6.2 Definitions of seismic velocity: well data 41

6.3 Velocities from seismic data: Vrms 42

6.4 Velocities from seismic data: Vstack 42

6.5 Velocity analysis 44

6.6 Errors in seismic-derived velocities 44

6.7 Multiple suppression by CMP stacking 45

6.8 Stacking the whole section: a make-or-break process 45

6.9 Some stacking refinements 45

6.9.1 NMO stretch 45

6.9.2 Weighted stacking 46

6.10 Migration: the fundamental idea 46

6.10.1 Map migration 46

6.11 Full-waveform migration 47

6.11.1 Migration by Kirchhoff diffraction stack 47

6.11.2 Migration by wave equation 47

6.12 Migration example: 2D section 48

Tutorials: 49

Tutorial 6.1 Velocities from well data 49

Tutorial 6.2 NMO correction, CMP stacking and velocity analysis: program NMOSTAK 50

Tutorial 6.3 Picking stacking velocities from a velocity spectrum: programs VELSPEC and SEGY2D 51

Tutorial 6.4 Suppression of multiples by CMP stacking: program NMOSTAK 51

Tutorial 6.5 How multiples appear on a velocity spectrum: program VELSPEC 51

Tutorial 6.6 Migration by ray-tracing 52

7 Interpretation of two-dimensional (2D) surveys for structure 53

7.1 Introduction 53

7.2 Linking well geology to the seismic section 53

7.2.1 Sonic log or continuous velocity log (CVL) 53

7.2.2 Time-depth plot 53

7.2.3 Making the link: synthetic seismogram 54

7.3 Choosing reflections to pick 54

7.4 Picking reflections 55

7.5 Sideswipe 55

7.6 A sideswipe example: fault diffractions 56

7.7 Preparing structure maps in TWT 57

7.8 Time to depth conversion 58

7.8.1 Velocity as an analytical function of depth 59

7.8.2 Time-depth conversion strategies 59

7.9 Examples of time-depth conversion 59

7.9.1 Southern North Sea: Rotliegend sandstone target 59

7.9.2 Central North Sea: Paleocene sands target 60

7.9.3 West Sole field, southern North Sea 60

Tutorials: 60

Tutorial 7.1 Constructing a synthetic seismogram from well-log data: program SYNTH 60

Tutorial 7.2 Matching a synthetic seismogram to seismic data: program IMAGES 62

Tutorial 7.3 Picking reflections along a 2D section from the Moray Firth, northern North Sea basin 62

Tutorial 7.4 Time to depth conversion, West Sole Field, southern North Sea Basin 70

Part II Seismic input to reservoir characterization.

8 Better images of the subsurface 81

8.1 Introduction 81

8.2 Reflection point dispersal, conflicting dips and DMO 81

8.3 Prestack time migration (PSTM) 82

8.3.1 Common-offset sections and the Cheops pyramid 82

8.3.2 PSTM and image gathers 83

8.3.3 The limitations of PSTM: lateral variations in velocity 85

8.4 Prestack depth migration (PSDM) 85

8.4.1 Velocity-depth model based on layers 87

8.4.2 Velocity-depth model based on tomography 87

8.5 Anisotropy: the ultimate refinement in velocity 89

8.6 Velocity-depth ambiguity 90

8.7 Future migration technique: Kirchhoff or wave extrapolation? 91

8.8 3D migration 91

8.9 3D seismic interpretation 93

8.10 Growth and impact of 3D seismic surveys 94

Tutorials: 95

Tutorial 8.1 Reflection point dispersal 95

Tutorial 8.2 Lateral mis-location from time migration 96

Tutorial 8.3 3D data: vertical section and time-slice 97

9 Modifying the seismic waveform 98

9.1 Introduction 98

9.2 Testing an electronic filter: the impulse response 98

9.3 Digital filters: convolution 98

9.4 Cross-correlation and auto-correlation 101

9.5 Frequency filtering by convolution 102

9.6 The seismogram as a convolution 103

9.7 Deconvolution 103

9.8 Designing deconvolution operators 104

9.9 Predictive deconvolution 105

9.10 Wavelet processing 105

9.11 Frequency-domain processing 105

9.12 Data processing and the fragility of bandwidth 106

Tutorials: 107

Tutorial 9.1 Digital filtering by hand 107

Tutorial 9.2 The power of the Vibroseis technique: program SIGPROC 107

Tutorial 9.3 Testing the seismic response of a geological model: program SYNTH 108

10 Refining reservoir architecture from seismic data 109

10.1 Introduction: the reservoir model 109

10.2 Refining reservoir environment: seismic stratigraphy and facies analysis 109

10.2.1 Sequences and system tracts 109

10.2.2 Picking seismic sequence boundaries 109

10.2.3 Seismic facies analysis 110

10.2.4 Sedimentary units as 3D volumes 110

10.2.5 Multi-attribute facies analysis 111

10.2.6 Analysis of seismic facies by trace shape 112

10.2.7 Seismic facies in carbonates 113

10.3 Refining reservoir structure: vertical seismic profiling (VSP) 113

10.3.1 VSP processing and applications 114

10.3.2 Walkaway VSP 115

10.4 Refining reservoir structure: seismic attributes 116

10.4.1 Horizon displays of dip magnitude and azimuth 116

10.4.2 Volumetric dip magnitude and azimuth 118

10.4.3 Coherence 118

10.4.4 Automatic fault extraction: ant-tracking 119

10.4.5 Curvature 120

10.4.6 Applications of curvature 121

10.4.7 Structure-oriented filtering 122

10.5 Seismic forward modelling 122

10.5.1 One-dimensional modelling: the synthetic seismogram 123

10.5.2 Mis-match between synthetic seismogram and section 124

10.5.3 Forward modelling in two and three dimensions 124

Tutorials: 126

Tutorial 10.1 Section limits in walkaway VSP 126

Tutorial 10.2 Forward modelling of fault shadow: program SYNTHSEC 126

11 Seismic input to mapping reservoir properties 127

11.1 Introduction 127

11.2 Reflection amplitude 127

11.3 Acoustic impedance (AI) inversion 128

11.3.1 AI inversion by recursion and trace integration 128

11.3.2 The good and the bad of AI inversion 129

11.3.3 Sparse-spike, model-based and coloured inversion 130

11.4 Amplitude variation with offset (AVO) 130

11.4.1 AVO and poisson’s ratio 132

11.4.2 AVO methodology 132

11.4.3 Angle stacks 133

11.5 AVO intercept and gradient 134

11.5.1 Intercept-gradient cross-plots 135

11.6 Fluid factor 136

11.7 AVO inversion to rock properties lr and mr 137

11.8 AVO inversion to P- and S-wave impedance 138

11.9 Elastic impedance: AVO made easy? 139

11.10 Best fluid indicator? 140

11.11 Instantaneous seismic attributes 140

11.12 Usage of seismic attributes 141

11.13 Predicting log properties from seismic attributes 142

11.14 4C and 4D surveys 143

Tutorials: 144

Tutorial 11.1 AVO for typical lithological interfaces 144

Tutorial answers 146

References 147

Index 153

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After gaining his geology degree, Dr Ashcroft worked with Seismograph Service Ltd on seismic parties in the Middle East and Nigeria,  then went on to do research at Birmingham University. He  joined the Department of Geology, University of Aberdeen in 1966, teaching Applied Geophysics to BSc students and to the MSc class in Petroleum Geology.  His research interests included large-scale magnetic surveys in the Scottish highlands and studies based on seismic data released from the petroleum industry.  He retired as Senior Lecturer in 1999, but has remained active, teaching geophysics at the University of Glasgow and carrying out magnetic surveys over the Rhynie Basin as well as writing this book and developing its tutorial software.
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"The book also includes extensive references, numerous high-quality illustrations, and a CD-ROM." (Book News, 1 August 2011)

 

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