The organizational & business environment is a factor as important as technology in the successful integration of seismic into the reservoir model. The value of 3D seismic to E&P efforts has been well established - further added value is being realized by contributing to the synergy achieved by multidisciplinary teams, facilitated by recent advancements in integration technology. Generally, optimizing the reservoir model in the most cost effective manner entails integrating partial results throughout the reservoir characterization process, and extending the integration process to include seismic data processing & acquisition.
The body of the oral presentation consists of examples taken from international case studies, highlighting the application of some recent advancements in 3D seismic technology towards reservoir characterization including:
# Neural network technology facilitating facies interpretation in a turbiditic fan complex.
3D Layer Inversion allowing delineation and quantification of channel sands.
Combined deterministic & geostatistic modeling, showing the sensitivity of fluid flow simulations to stochastic estimates and the reduction of uncertainty by the incorporation of seismic information.
Each reservoir is unique: physically, economically, conceptually - choosing the economically appropriate seismic methods for reservoir characterization requires understanding the complex interrelationships between seismic estimates of reservoir properties.
With the advent of integration ease - giving freedom for creative solutions of the integration problem - comes the potential of working a reservoir study as a holistic process, allowing the determination of the technology, cost & time appropriate for the available data and the need for additional data.
Increasing difficulty in the discovery of petroleum reserves, and decreasing economic margins in their production - especially in deepwater - is being met by a technical readiness & organizational will to shift resources towards improving the profitability of existing assets. Today, advances in seismic integration technology are dovetailing with developments in corporate culture towards optimizing integrated reservoir management.
Since the early 1980s integrating 3D seismic into the reservoir model has, for many oil companies, acted as a catalyst, effecting change in organizational behavior and business practices throughout the reservoir characterization process. Companies that early embraced this technology for better structural information have realized large gains in productivity in terms of finding & managing reservoirs. The successful campaign in the Campos Basin has shown that the synchronization of 3D seismic studies during exploration & development phases, has resulted in a significant reduction in drilling costs: doubling the exploration success ratio, and reducing by one third the appraisal time. A study by Exxon based on 40 3D seismic surveys with a $48 million net cost (acquisition & processing) gave a conservative 26% rate-of- return on their 3D seismic investment. Shell has shown from a study of 10 North Sea fields that improved accuracy obtained from 3D seismic data changed their reserve estimates on an average of 36%.
With recent advancements in information technology & multidisciplinary organization, tackling the more complicated task of utilizing seismic information to describe the reservoir's rock & fluid properties has become more feasible within the timeframe necessary to have impact on reservoir management.