This paper describes the implementation of a petroelastic model (PEM) based on Gassmann's equation to calculate seismic attributes into a commercial reservoir flow simulator. This implementation is the first step of a project to integrate time-lapse (4D) seismic attributes into an assisted history matching tool developed in a previous project.

The paper includes the description of the PEM and some implementation issues, such as the coupling of the model with the flow simulator with the purpose of using its basic calculated properties, discuss some user options (such as properties input through correlation or geoestatisticaly obtained maps) and the model variants and extensions (such as lithology influence and pressure effects). Three applications of this petroelastic model are shown: the first is a synthetic model based on outcrop data; the second is a 4D feasibility study for water injection monitoring in an offshore field; and the last one is a comparison between observed and calculated pressure impedances for an offshore field.

The resulting tool is applicable, for example, in 4D seismic feasibility studies, in seismic modeling for comparison with observed surveys and makes possible further implementations for incorporating the seismic data in assisted history matching.


The use of petroelastic attributes has several useful purposes 1, such as feasibility of applying 4D seismic monitoring, optimize 4D seismic monitoring program and prepare more accurate production forecasts.

A possible workflow for applying 4D seismic in the monitoring of fluid flow in porous media follows the iterative steps 2:

  1. Acquire, process and interpret 3D seismic data at two or more different points in time;

  2. Combine the 3D seismic interpretation with other geoscience and engineering data to characterize the reservoir;

  3. Use a flow simulator to model fluid flow performance;

  4. Use flow simulator properties such as pressure and saturation at the acquisition times in a PEM to calculate reservoir seismic attributes for comparison with the observed ones.

Steps 3 and 4 are unnecessarily cumbersome because most flow simulators do not calculate reservoir seismic attributes. As a result, information from the flow simulation Step 3 must be converted to a format suitable for analysis in the PEM Step 4.

In addition, errors may be introduced into the calculation of seismic attributes if fluid properties in the PEM do not match the corresponding fluid properties in the flow simulator, like using standard correlations of fluid properties.

These problems can be avoided if the PEM is incorporated into the flow simulator, eliminating the need of a third-party software to calculate the seismic attributes, so that it uses exactly the same fluid property model.

Fanchi 1 shows the results for some reservoir management scenarios, applying successfully the petroelastic properties information calculated through an integrated flow simulator using the Gassmann's equation 3, improving the reservoir management and monitoring processes.

Gosselin et al.4 also implemented an integrated flow simulator tool 5 using the Gassmann's equation in a project to integrate 4D data into an assisted history matching process.

The ultimate aim of this project is to incorporate time-lapse seismic attributes into an assisted history match (AHM) tool, which combines efficient derivative calculation and robust optimization techniques, already developed in a previous project 6 through an integrated reservoir flow simulator, facilitating a lot the viable use of this kind of data.

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