Reservoir Characterization and Modeling: The Role of 4D Seismic in Visualization and Analysis

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4D seismic together with reservoir simulation results are a powerful tool in optimizing production over the life of an oilfield.
Seismic surveys and greater computational power are allowing operators to acquire, process, and interpret geologic data more cost-effectively and provide increasingly detailed information regarding fault distribution and subsurface structures. Iterative seismic surveys conducted during the course of oil field production provide additional benefit in revealing subsurface changes that guide reservoir characterization and modeling, as well as current production optimization strategies.

Seismic and Reservoir Data: Key Components of the Big Picture

Using seismic survey data as a foundation, models built by reservoir engineers also take advantage of big data and computing power to characterize subsurface volumes, including formation shapes and thicknesses, lithologies, and permeability and porosity distributions. These models are further enhanced, developing reservoir simulation models by incorporating attributes such as pressure, temperature, and fluid and gas compositions to help predict current and future reservoir behavior. Together reservoir characterization and modeling have become critical resources to optimize well placement and field development planning.
Although seismic survey information and reservoir models are critical to planning and production, each is developed with a different software product, producing separate sets of data that require their own means of visualization for analysis. Each set of data is equally relevant together but separately they only provide a portion of the “big picture” required for optimum well planning and production optimization.

Reservoir Characterization and Modeling in Producing Fields

Once in production, hydrocarbon reservoir characteristics change as a result of fluid or gas migrating through pore spaces in formations, or changes in saturation, pressure, and temperature. Iterative seismic surveys (4D seismic monitoring) and evolving reservoir models can help improve the accuracy of the forward-looking production models when both data sources—seismic and reservoir—are combined and visualized.
Together seismic and reservoir data can provide a more accurate and detailed analysis of geologic models and well production histories by displaying the evolving interaction among subsurface features and reservoir characteristics. An accurate and detailed understanding of the reservoir changes over time can help reduce risk and optimize asset production.

The Value of 4D Seismic Visualized With Reservoir Models

When visualized together, 4D seismic monitoring data and reservoir models provide a powerful analytical tool in helping geophysicists and engineers understand the current and future performance of a producing field. Information provided by seismic survey data is critical in optimizing the recovery of remaining reserves. Accurate reservoir characterization and modeling give engineers the ability to monitor reservoir behavior during its production lifetime and observe subsurface changes in greater detail and respond with the appropriate production strategies.
The value of 4D seismic now extends beyond identifying optimal production zones or bypassed oil. When combined and visualized with reservoir models, it becomes an essential tool for quantitative reservoir management, enabling geophysicists and reservoir and production engineers to:
  • determine why certain wells are producing while others are underperforming in comparison to the predicted output of reservoir simulation models.
  • accurately identify the extent and characteristics of depleted and unswept zones.
  • update or fine-tune reservoir simulation models per changes observed in recent seismic studies to more accurately forecast production.
  • identify the likelihood of potential problems such as increased water cut and subsidence.
By using 4D seismic analysis to adjust reservoir models, engineers gain a better understanding of a reservoir’s dynamic behavior and can recommend appropriate strategies to increase the recovery factor of a reservoir or extend production for a few years to maximize return on investment.
By using 4D seismic analysis to adjust reservoir models, engineers gain a better understanding of a reservoir’s dynamic behavior and can recommend appropriate strategies to increase the recovery factor of a reservoir or extend production for a few years to maximize return on investment.

CoViz 4D Facilitates Visualization

The integration and comparison of 4D seismic and reservoir model data are critical to the accurate understanding of the ongoing field production as well as predicting its future performance. CoViz 4D provides a quantitative visual environment for reservoir management and 4D seismic through integration and visualization of iterative seismic survey data and reservoir models. CoViz 4D provides unsurpassed visualization capabilities by easily integrating disparate datasets to allow asset development teams to understand the changing response of a reservoir over time and optimize their development and production decisions.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives geologists, geophysicists, and reservoir engineers the ability to easily access and combine all relevant data associated with subsurface environments. Powerful analytic capabilities enable users to explore data relationships, analyze the accuracy of depth conversion of 3D seismic, and visualize seismic well ties and velocity models to facilitate decisions that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D, contact our team.

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