In the past ten years, time-lapse (4D) seismic has evolved from an academic research topic to a standard way of monitoring reservoir performance. The method is now being used as good reservoir management practice to provide evidence of saturation changes within the reservoir at field scale. 4D provides a new piece of data describing the dynamic behavior of the reservoir fluids between the wells, often limited to small scale monitoring at the borehole scale. Thus, it provides sophisticated techniques of reservoir monitoring and management relying on the integration of geological models, static and dynamic properties of the reservoir rock, and detailed production and pressure field data.
While 4D seismic data has been very successful in monitoring hydrocarbon production in clastic reservoirs, there is still no consensus on its applicability to carbonate fields. The main difficulty is the well-known fact that the acoustic velocities of carbonates are insensitive to saturation and pressure changes, relative to the clastics. Beside the geological processes such as production induced compaction which has large impact on porosity, density and permeability variation during the life of a 4D surveys, the complexity and heterogeneity of carbonate pore geometry and network further aggravate the difficulty of 4D applications. Although the geological characteristics may not change at small time scales but they are linked to fluid flow and distribution in the reservoir.
An Integrated approach of 4D seismic analysis using all historical production data along with open/cased hole logs and simulation models has demonstrated its viability to understand saturation changes in heterogeneous reservoirs. Thus using this approach as reservoir management tool to improve sweep efficiency and enhance field development plans.