ABSTRACT

Three-dimensional (3D) seismic technology is one of the most vital developments in the oil and gas industries over the last century. The surprisingly high resolution of the 3D seismic technology provides the solid foundation needed to discover interesting geological structures such as salt diapirs. The 3D seismic interpretation plays a key role in delineating and analyzing the possible prospects in salt-controlled basins. The understanding of fault systems, the ability to create good structural maps, and the capability to recognize the tectonic nature of salt diapirs are the key to crucial and successful seismic interpretation. In addition, 3D seismic data provide seismic interpreters with the required ability to delineate subsurface structures to a resolution of over thousands of square kilometers. Based on 3D seismic interpretation, the results present a strong relationship between the activity of these faults and the accumulation of the hydrocarbon reservoirs in salt-controlled basins. As academic researchers claim, the adoption of 3D seismic technology is still in its early stages and may be subjected to future full potential. This paper provides an analytic overview of case studies to demonstrate a good correlation between the implication of the 3D seismic interpretation and the main phases of salt tectonics in salt basins.

1. INTRODUCTION

A significant part of the hydrocarbon reserve is identified by salt tectonics and deposition of evaporites. According to previous studies, salt-basin structures are common in offshore regions. For instant, the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazile, and basins of Oman in the Middle East are good examples of salt basins that contain a large part of hydrocarbon reservoirs (Van Gent et al., 2011). Building approaches of salt structures depends on various aspects of salt tectonics. For instance, the combination of two main impacts on salt flow by (1) distributing a load of sedimentation over time and space; and (2) changing fault behaviors either at the base of the salt or overburden as a prompting mechanism. The extraordinary nature of these salt structures calls for a necessity to understand and search for valid causes and interpretations of these structures. Three main stages define the architecture of salt-controlled basins; 1) the early lateral movement of the salt with building some edging walls, 2) the development of similarly small mountains of salt, 3) the appearance of salt diapirs that rise upward as we see it today (Figure 1).

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