Enhancing the Visualization of 3D Seismic Data

One time-step of a 4D seismic study is shown with wells, production towers and a reservoir simulation grid to get a good idea on how the fluids are migrating in a reservoir. Data used with permission of owner.
As more and more energy companies transition from a fossil fuel dominated environment to a more diverse mix of lower carbon energies, there will still be a reliance on hydrocarbons and as such geology and geophysics still will play a critical role in the world’s future energy requirements.
However, as investment in fossil fuels is reduced it has become necessary for oil companies to be very discerning with their expenditure. This can take the form of drilling fewer wells with the criteria of lower costs and higher success rates, maximizing production from existing fields, development of known resources and ignoring higher risk exploration. The use of improved data management and data integration will allow geoscientists to build more accurate subsurface representations in shorter time frames.
3D seismic data is a snapshot of the subsurface at a particular point in time. Multiple seismic surveys over the life of the field are referred to as 4D and monitor the changes in the subsurface brought on by hydrocarbon production. For each seismic survey there is a plethora of valuable data, full stack, partial angle stacks, azimuthal stacks, various seismic attributes and derivatives as well as the seismic interpretation. As that is not enough the fact that this seismic survey is one of many at different times, differences between the vintages need to be calculated and analyzed.

Managing the Seismic Data Overload

The role of 3D seismic data is more important now than ever as the industries face the challenge of producing more for less cost. 3D seismic data is now used by drilling and reservoir engineers, geologists, and geophysicists in most of the project phases including hydrocarbon exploration, structural interpretation, and well planning and development, as well as reservoir management in the oil and gas industry.
Given the vast volume of data to be analyzed, how is it possible for the data engineers to be able to maximize the value in this plethora of data. One possible and available solution is to order the mass of data by time index. Date stamping each component will allow it to appear to the user in an orderly procession. In such a fashion the data can be scrolled through time allowing the geoscientist to note the changes to the reservoir each seismic survey provides:
  • Maximising reservoir potential from a known low risk source
  • Providing accurate future production predictions
  • Reservoir connectivity
  • Potential locations for infill drilling

3D seismic data is only one component of many that represent the current state of the reservoir. A more complete picture can only be achieved by the integration of many of the component parts. Some of these elements like the production and injection volumes also have a temporal element. Coupling these temporal elements together in an integrated immersive environment will enable a clearer understanding of the reservoir mechanics which in turn will provide more accurate predictions of reservoir hydrocarbon production. 

Reducing Risk by Effective Integration of Reservoir Data

Comparison of 3D seismic visually in 3D and in 2D as a cross plot of oil saturation versus amplitude. Data used with permission of owner.
Effective visualization of 3D seismic data and ordering will allow the asset teams deeper understanding of their assets, more accurate representation of the subsurface and reducing risk in the decision making related to the increased production of the reservoir.
4D seismic response indicates the true state of the reservoir. Effective use of the data will enable a more accurate representation of the subsurface to be constructed:
  • Allow corrections to the current representation of the reservoir model
  • Indicate regions for pressure support
  • Indicate future drilling opportunities for increasing production
  • Prediction of future production rates
  • Resources: 3D Seismic Visualization Approach

An Effective Solution for 3D Seismic Analysis

Software solutions from Dynamics Graphics,® Inc., such as CoViz® 4D and EarthVision®, provide an ideal platform for interpreters to accurately represent the seismic data at its correct geospatial position as an accurate 3D simulation model. The capabilities of these softwares allow enhancement of existing interpretations through:

With easy data import, on-the-fly volumetric calculations, and visualization of seismic data with 3D and 4D analysis capabilities, a collaborative environment is fostered. This results in a comprehensive interpretation of the reservoir characteristics for asset teams to make an informed decision on reducing economic risks and increasing productivity.


Dynamic Graphics, Inc. has been at the forefront of providing software solutions for the oil and gas industry to easily integrate a wide range of logs, production, and engineering data with 3D seismic data. Powerful analytic and quantitative visualization capabilities allow reservoir and drilling engineers, geologists, and geophysicists to more accurately interpret the reservoir characteristics and support decisions that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D contact our team.


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