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# The University of the West Indies, St.

Augustine
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering
Petroleum Geoscience Unit

PENG 6000
SEISMIC PROCESSING, INTERPRETATION &
ROCK PHYSICS
VARENDRA RAMBARAN

varendra.rambaran@hotmail.com
RECAP…
 Seismic Acquisition

 Types of Acquisition
 Acquisition Considerations
 Land Acquisition
 Marine Acquisition
 Design Considerations
 Sources
 Recording
 Operational Differences: Land vs Marine

 Seismic Processing

 Goal
 Basic Processing Sequences
 Reformatting
 Amplitude Recovery
 Noise (e.g. Multiples!)
 Stacking
 Velocity Analysis
 Migration
OUTLINE
 Seismic Processing

 Stacking
 Velocity Analysis
 Migration

 Seismic Interpretation

 Principle
 Workflow
 Seismic Interpretation Examples
 Seismic Well Tie
 DHI
 AVO
 Seismic Inversion
 4D
AN INTRODUCTION TO
SEISMIC PROCESSING
MULTIPLES!
MULTIPLES

Short-path Multiples
Long-path Multiples

## Constant extra travel-path

COMPLEXITY OF MULTIPLES
LONG PATH MULTIPLES
SHORT PATH MULTIPLES
MULTIPLES EXAMPLES
TOOLS FOR MULTIPLE
ATTENUATION
• STACK
• DECONVOLUTION
• LINEAR TAU-P WITH DECONVOLUTION
• PARABOLC TAU-P (RADON TRANSFORM)
• WAVE EQUATION PREDICTION
• SURFACE-RELATED MODELLING AND ELIMINATION (SRME)
• AMPLITUDE AND FREQUENCY DISCRIMINATION
EXAMPLE - SRME
STACKING
• Once horizons are flattened, the gather is summed across the offset to give a
single ‘stacked trace’.

• It is these traces that make up the stacked sections, which are then
interpreted as geological cross-sections.

## • Having synchronise reflections in a CMP gather, they are summed – or stacked

– across the offset range. This produces a single trace, with boosted signal-to-
noise ratio.

• Seismic sections are built from stacked traces; the number of traces in the
stack is called the ‘fold of cover’.
Hundreds of stacked traces may be
included in this short section of data!
• Higher fold gives a better stack response (n traces improves SNR by a factor of
n½, for ideal signal and noise conditions).
STACKING
offset offset offset

t0 t0
t-t0
Two-way travel time

## Two-way travel time

Two-way travel time
reflection
moveout

normal
moveout
(NMO)
correction
NMO AND
STACKING
VELOCITY ANALYSIS

## • In a CMP gather, the curvature of a • Velocity Analysis routine

reflection event is controlled by velocity.
With knowledge of velocity, we can • CMP Binning
remove the curvature from reflection • Analysis Methods
events, such that they appear flat in the • Constant Velocity Panels
gather.
• Semblance
• NMO Correction
• We can then sum the traces of the CMP • Stacking
gather together, to boost signal energy.
• Boosting Signal to Noise Ratio
• Reducing Multiple Energy
• Velocity analysis is therefore required to • Residual Statics
estimate the curvature of reflections in
the dataset.
SEVERAL TYPES OF VELOCITY
Interval velocity, vINT
vINT = 2*layer thickness z1
vINT1
time in the layer
t01
z2 vINT2
Average velocity, va
va = 2*layer depth t02
z3 vINT3
travel-time
t03

## Root-Mean-Square Velocity, vRMS

vRMS = sum of (interval velocity * travel-time in the
layer) total travel-time
APPROXIMATION OF ROOT MEAN
SQUARE VELOCITY
• Reflection travel-times from flat
layers are approximated by:
t(x)=(t02 + x2/vRMS2)½

## • However, this equation is only

exact for the first layer, because
it cannot describe the refraction
of wavelets.

##  This approximation isn’t bad where the offset between

source and receiver is less that the depth to layers, but it
breaks down with bigger velocity contrasts and offsets.
VELOCITY SPECTRUM – offset
SEMBLANCE ANALYSIS

## • Imagine taking a CMP gather, and simply

defining lots of hyperbolae over it, with
unique stacking velocities and t0 pairs.

## Two-way travel time

• We can measure the coherency of
wavelets along those hyperbolae; where
there is a good match, there is a good
chance that a reflection event is present.

## • That measure of coherency is called

semblance.
SEMBLANCE ANALYSIS

## • All of our measurements of semblance are contoured into a

velocity spectrum.

## • The velocity spectrum is ‘picked’, and each semblance

‘pick’ defines a velocity and time pair.

## • These pairs provide the best-match stacking velocity to

describe the curvature of a reflection.
offset (m) stacking velocity (m/s)

provides vST

travel-time (ms)
travel-time (ms)

provides t0

contoured
semblance
SAME GATHER, PLUS THE NMO
CORRECTION…
REPEAT FOR MANY CMP GATHERS!
CMP position
• Many models of stacking
velocity and t0 are picked from
many CMP gathers; these are
interpolated across the whole
survey area.

## Two-way Travel Time

• A few ‘passes’ of velocity
analysis may be necessary to
smooth, or correct errors in, the
velocity field.
UN-MIGRATED
STACK

## DOES NOT LOOK

LIKE GEOLOGY!
MIGRATED
STACK

LOOKS MORE
LIKE GEOLOGY!
A FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTION – IS
WRONG!!
• For a CMP gather, we assume that we know
exactly where in the subsurface energy was
reflected from.

## • Energy is assumed to have reflected from

points that are vertically beneath the
midpoint between sources and receivers.
These midpoints
• This comes about because, for initial are a logical first-
presentation of data, we have to assume approximation
energy came from somewhere…
MIGRATION IN PRINCIPLE

## Two-Way Travel Time

By assuming that all energy reflects from
directly beneath the source and receiver, we
would misinterpret that recorded trace.
CONSIDER A DIPPING HORIZON
• Note: assumes source and receiver are at the same position
• Also, subsurface has a constant velocity
What do you notice about the
imaged horizon, compared to
the real one?

1. Vertical position…?
appears deeper
here…
2. Horizontal position…?
DIP moved down-dip
…is imaged
here 3. Dip angle…?
here…
shallower dip
…is imaged
here
DIFFRACTION FROM AN EDGE…

position

## If velocity is constant, the

time
shortest travel-time to and
from the edge is recorded Diffraction hyperbola
EFFECT OF MIGRATION

## • Migration uses velocity information to ‘zip up’ diffraction

hyperbolae, focussing them at their apex.

## • This is the principle behind ‘Kirchhoff migration’, which we’ll

come on to in a bit.

## • Because of the restoration of hyperbolae to their apex,

migrated stacked sections are visibly more focussed than
unmigrated sections.
MIGRATION IN PRACTICE

## Migration ‘smiles’ – absolutely CLASSIC

example of a migration problem
UNMIGRATED STACK
DEPTH MIGRATED
SEISMIC INTERPRETATION & ROCK
PHYSICS
WHERE ARE WE AT NOW….
SEISMIC INTERPRETATION

## • Analysis of seismic data

to generate reasonable
models and predictions
and structures of the
subsurface.
• Developing a geologic
framework
• Using Quantitative
Interpretation methods
to get information
properties
GEOLOGIC FRAMEWORK

• Using all available data (wells, seismic, outcrop, regional studies, gravity,
magnetics, etc.) build a framework of present-day structure and stratigraphy
➢Structural Interpretation
• Faults & Folds
• Subsidence & Uplift
• Structural Trends
• Structural Features

➢ Stratigraphic Interpretation
• Unconformities
• Stratal Packages
• Environments / Facies / Lithologies
• Ages
BASIC OBSERVATIONS:
PROFILE VIEW
We can recognize moderate- to large-scale faults on seismic profiles by:

• Termination of reflections
• Offset in stratigraphic markers
• Abrupt changes in dip
• Abrupt changes in seismic patterns
• Fault plane reflections
• Associated folding or sag
• Discontinuities
FAULT IDENTIFICATION:
TIME SLICE VIEW
• Do You See Evidence for Faults?

## Amplitude Data Discontinuity

1856 ms 1856 ms
SEISMIC
ATTRIBUTES
Attributes can be obtained from:
– Post‐stack seismic data ‐ This type is
the most common. Stacking
of all of the moveout‐corrected traces.
Here, stacking is adding
traces as the survey continue along
the array.
– Pre‐stack ‐ Prior to stacking, in a
prestack analysis. Single
pairs
A CASE STUDY…CGGVERITAS
VERNG03 3D SURVEY
www.seismicatlas.org
www.seismicatlas.org
www.seismicatlas.org
RMS AMPLITUDE MAP
THE SCALE OF SEISMIC DATA
SEISMIC RESOLUTION
• The ability of a seismic reflection survey to resolve features in both horizontal and
vertical directions is a function of wavelength. The ability to distinguish between
separate points or objects, such as sedimentary sequences in a seismic section.
• Wavelength increases with depth in the Earth because velocity increases and
frequency decreases. Thus, seismic reflection surveys lose resolution with
increasing depth in the Earth.
• Generally, the smallest (thinnest) resolvable features are 1/4 to 1/8 the dominant
wavelength. At a higher frequency, finer scale layering can be resolved but at a
low frequency, detail is lost.
• High frequency and short wavelengths provide better vertical
and lateral resolution.
• Seismic processing can greatly affect resolution:
• Deconvolution can improve vertical resolution by producing a broad bandwidth with
high frequencies and a relatively compressed wavelet
• Migration can improve lateral resolution by reducing the size of the Fresnel zone.
SEISMIC RESOLUTION
Lateral Resolution (Fresnel Zone):
A frequency and range dependent
area of a reflector from which most
of the energy of a reflection is
returned and arrival times differ by
less than half a period from the
first break.
Waves with such arrival times will
interfere constructively and so be
detected as a single arrival.
Subsurface features smaller than the
Fresnel zone usually cannot be
detected using seismic waves.
SEISMIC RESOLUTION
Vertical Resolution (Rayleigh Criterion):
• Closely-spaced reflections will
interfere, increasing or reducing
amplitudes, and sometimes making it
impossible to identify two separate
beds
• Tuning thickness ≈ λ/4 ≈ V/4f
• Below the tuning thickness, individual
beds will not be resolved
• If reflection polarities are opposite: -
Below tuning thickness, no reflection
occurs, - At tuning thickness,
reflection becomes maximum
SEISMIC RESOLUTION
How much can we see on seismic data?
WHAT IS A SYNTHETIC
SEISMOGRAM?
• Seismic reflections occur when there is
an acoustic impedance contrast.
• Generally, a small change in
impedance gives a small reflection and
vice versa.
• Reflection coefficients are then
calculated at step-changes in
impedance to give a reflectivity series.
• A seismic wavelet is then convolved with
the reflectivity series to get individual
wavelets, whereby each reflection
coefficient generates a wavelet whose
amplitude is proportional to the
reflection coefficient.
• The individual wavelets are then
summed to produce a seismic trace.
SEISMIC-WELL TIE
• A well-seismic tie allows us to relate horizon tops
identified in a well with specific reflection on the
seismic section.
• For synthetics, the key logs used are sonic - VP(DTC),
density - ρ (RHOB) and a check shot.
• Check shots measure the vertical one-way time
from surface to various depths within the wellbore
and its prime purpose is to calibrate the relationship
between well depths and time calculated from a
sonic log.
• The sonic log can introduce seismic travel time
error if cycle skipping, tool skipping and washed-
out zone effects are present, hence the need to
correct and calibrate this log using a Checkshot.
SEISMIC-WELL TIE
• We then overlay the synthetic trace on the seismic data close to the well (usually a
section along the well) and shift synthetic as necessary to get the best character tie.

## The top of the

reservoir should
be mapped on
this peak (red)
PROSPECT ANALYSIS, QI & ROCK
PROPERTIES
MOST-LIKELY SCENARIO
Alpha Beta

Sea Water

Oil Overburden
Fill & Spill
Seal

Reservoir
Oil
Migration
Source

Basement

Oil
Generation 18 Ma

Courtesy of ExxonMobil
MOST-LIKELY SCENARIO
Alpha Beta

Sea Water

Overburden
Oil
Migration Seal

Reservoir
Oil
Migration
Source

Basement

10 Ma
Oil
Generation
Courtesy of ExxonMobil
MOST-LIKELY SCENARIO
Alpha Beta

Sea Water

Overburden
Oil
Migration Seal

Reservoir
Oil & Gas
Migration
Source

Basement

Oil
Generation Present
Gas
Generation
Courtesy of ExxonMobil
MOST-LIKELY SCENARIO
Alpha Beta

Oil

Oil

18 Ma
Map of the Reservoir Unit
Courtesy of ExxonMobil
MOST-LIKELY SCENARIO
Alpha Beta

Oil
Oil

10 Ma
Map of the Reservoir Unit
Courtesy of ExxonMobil
MOST-LIKELY SCENARIO
Alpha Beta

Gas

Oil Oil

Present
Map of the Reservoir Unit
Courtesy of ExxonMobil
A PREDICTED POROSITY MAP
Applying the derived attribute “equation” to the 3D seismic survey
resulted in a Smackover porosity map
Possible New
Well Location

18%
porosity

WHAT ARE DHI?

## • Seismic DHI’s are anomalous seismic responses related to the presence of

hydrocarbons
• Acoustic impedance of a porous rock decreases as hydrocarbon replaces
brine in pore spaces of the rock, causing a seismic anomaly (DHI).
• There are a number of DHI signatures. Some of which are:
• Amplitude anomaly (e.g. bright spot, dim spot)
• Fluid contact reflection (e.g. Flat spot…..GWC, OWC, GOC)
• Fit to structural contours
DHI: AMPLITUDE ANOMALIES

Exxon
DHI: FLUID CONTACTS

## Hydrocarbons are lighter than

water and tend to form flat
events at the gas/oil contact and
the oil/water contact.

Exxon
THE PRE-STACK GATHERS
Shot Offset X Receiver

Ray paths

## Zero amplitude on full offset

stack for highlighted event

CMP

30 10 0

• The traces in a seismic gather reflect from the subsurface at increasing angles of incidence θ, related to offset X.
• If the angle is greater than zero, notice that there is both a shear component and a compressional component.
• Reflectivity Amplitudes Vary with Offset (AVO)
AMPLITUDE VERSUS OFFSET (AVO)
AVO CLASSIFICATION
AVO CLASSIFICATION EXAMPLES
SEISMIC INVERSION

## • We can link rock properties with

seismic properties through a
process called Seismic Inversion
• It is possible to derive (partly)
independent properties through
seismic inversion. Typical
examples are AI (acoustic
impedance) and VP/VS ratio
(ratio of different seismic
velocities)
• We can derive lithological and
fluid probabilities from inversion
data and use those to condition
geological/reservoir models
SEISMIC INVERSION
COVOLUTIONAL
MODEL…AGAINNN
COLOURED INVERSION (CI) FOR
MAPPING
COLOURED INVERSION
(RELATIVE IMPEDANCE)

Coloured
Conventional
Seismic Reflection
Inversion data.
Data. Amplitudes
Amplitudes
describesthe
describe
boundaries
internal rock
between lithology.
properties such
as fluid and
lithology type.
Ideal for reservoir
characterization
EEI (FLUID & LITHOLOGY VOLUMES)

Average relative AI (a) and corresponding lithology impedance (b) extracted in a window
below top reservoir over a Paleocene North Sea field and (c) shows the corresponding fluid
volume, which shows polarity reversal (orange colours) coincident with the structural spill point
(green outline) (Waters & Kemper, 2014).
GEOPHYSICS IN
RESERVOIR MONITORING
4D SEISMIC
• The 4D or time-lapse seismic method seeks to detect and characterize production-related
changes in oil and gas reservoirs by recording seismic data at different times and
measuring time-lapse changes in the seismic signal.
• Most reservoir changes occur because of changing pore pressure and/or fluid saturation
levels during oil and gas production, but they may also arise from temperature and
porosity changes within the reservoir, as well as from changes in the overburden, such as
compaction or fluid movement along a fault or well bore.
• The time-lapse seismic method involves the recording of 1D, 2D, or 3D seismic data at
several time steps; in each case, however, the technique is commonly referred to as the
“4D seismic method,” with the fourth dimension referring to calendar time.
• 4D seismic is now commonly used to locate bypassed hydrocarbons and permeability
barriers, map water and steam fronts, monitor costly injectants, and detect potential CO2
leaks.
• The method is invaluable for optimizing well locations and injection rates during field
development and improving reservoir models for history matching and production
forecasting.