The main objective of this project was to evaluate the ability to derive petrophysical properties like porosity from pre-stack seismic data in a carbonate environment. We apply a direct petrophysical inversion technique to an offshore carbonate reservoir. Starting from an initial geological model in depth and a number of carefully conditioned seismic angle stacks, we derive a detailed 3-D model of the porosity and hydrocarbon saturation matching the observed seismic data. We use a well-calibrated Petro-Elastic Model (PEM) to link the petrophysical properties to the seismic velocities. We compare inversion results obtained using the Xu-Payne and T-matrix PEMs which both account for carbonate pore geometry, lithology, porosity and fluid content but have different elastic sensitivity to fluid saturations. The inverted results provide detailed images of the spatial variations of porosity and fluid content across the reservoir interval. Obtaining estimates of absolute saturations values is more difficult, as saturation estimation is strongly dependent on the choice of PEM.
Carbonate reservoirs are notoriously heterogeneous. Seismic inversion is therefore needed to help estimate the spatial variations of rock type, porosity and fluid content in between the available wells. We present the results of a direct inversion of porosity and saturations from seismic pre-stack data over an offshore carbonate reservoir.