Electromagnetic (EM) inversion processing of ultradeep resistivity data has advanced from one dimensional (1D) to three dimensional (3D). These advances have helped improve the geological complexity that can be imaged and provide additional reservoir information. The large depth of investigation (DOI) of ultradeep LWD EM tools means that distant boundaries might not be detected by any other sensor in the tool string, making it difficult to verify the results. As inversion results represent a model of the subsurface resistivity distribution and not a direct measurement, it is important to have high confidence in the results. Directly comparing the component data measured by the tool to the modeled component data from the inversion across multiple frequencies provides confidence in the resultant model where the data have a close fit. However, as measurement sensitivities decrease with distance, there is potential for non-uniqueness, generating a model that is geologically unrealistic. Increased confidence can be achieved with independent verification of the model.
This paper details results from a trilateral well in an injectite reservoir wherein the sand distribution was expected to be complex. The 1D inversions showed the vertical distribution of the sand, but the results were sometimes distorted by lateral resistivity variations. The 3D inversion of the data allowed the lateral resistivity variations to be resolved. These results can be corroborated by direct comparison with azimuthal resistivity images. Additionally, the laterals all diverged from the same main bore and remained close together initially in an area containing major sand injectites. The 3D inversions from two of the wells overlap and define similarly shaped structures, providing confidence in the 3D inversion model.
In complex geobodies, such as the injectites described, significant lateral variation in the reservoir distribution is expected, which is not captured by 1D inversion. Understanding the shape of these structures and their potential connectivity using 3D inversion provides a major increase in reservoir understanding that is critical to completion design.