SEAM Time Lapse Pilot

4D Pressure Prediction through Improved Seismic Imaging and Reservoir Characterization

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The main SEAM Pressure Prediction project focused on predicting pore pressure prior to drilling using surface seismic (and EM) data. By contrast, the Time Lapse Pilot project, separately funded, focused on understanding the evolution of pore pressure during production using time-lapse seismic data and reservoir characterization. By contrast with SEAM’s Life of Field project, the Time Lapse Pilot was smaller, simpler, and quicker.

The Time Lapse Pilot was funded (80%) by a $500,000 grant from NETL through RPSEA, with a $125,000 (in-kind) matching contribution from SEAM, structured contractually as an extension to the SEAM Pore Pressure Prediction project. Due to the specific requirements of NETL, the project was completed, with all Deliverables delivered, at the end of September 2016. This tight deadline meant that the model was small (seismic: 12.5km x 12.5km x 5km; reservoir: 5km x 5km x .4km) and the reservoir mechanics were simple. However, the seismic modeling had specifications comparable to those of other recent SEAM projects.

The Project Management Team and Technical Committee have worked hard since 4Q15 (even before final contracts were signed). Many decisions had to be made under extreme time pressure. But the project was completed on schedule and on budget.

This Vshale image captures the level of realism of the model

All the other petrophysical and geophysical parameters were specified in comparable detail. Extraordinary effort by Technical Committee member Joe Stefani, and his colleagues at Chevron, was instrumental in developing this model. The plan includes a baseline seismic simulation, followed by a production scenario with realistic reservoir geomechanical response, and a monitor seismic simulation.

The complete model was put out to bid in early March, with a deadline in early April. Bids were evaluated by mid-April, and the successful bidders were approved by the SEAM BoD in late April.

The successful bidders were:

  • AGT for seismic modeling
  • Ikon Science for reservoir simulation

Those vendors worked hard, painfully aware of their tight deadline.

The Time Lapse Pilot project was completed just prior to the 2016 SEG Annual Meeting in Dallas. There was a post-convention workshop presenting the results, organized by SEAM Director Josef Paffenholz . Digital results were made available to financial sponsors of both the Pore Pressure Prediction and the Life of Field SEAM projects.

Read an article from the September 2017 issue of The Leading Edge describing the Time-Lapse Pilot Data and Analysis.

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