Geophysical Application to Petroleum Engineering

Peter Bartok

The main objective of the course is to apply geophysics to petroleum engineering aspects of reservoir analysis by demonstrating how the models arrived.

Several key topics to be discussed in detail include: stress analysis, rock physics, rock mechanics, and reserve estimate. The integration of multiple seismic inversion models is described in a manner that improves communication. 


Two days

Intended Audience

Intermediate Level

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education required)

1 to 2 years in geophysics

Course Outline

  • General Introduction to the impact of geophysics on PE
    • Provide info to share with PE on gather conditioning, AVO, and AVAZ
    • Data management, basics of cluster analysis
  • Introduce various types of seismic displays, review how coherence and curvature derived and their application
  • Discuss various sources for density data, apply density to establish Overburden stress
  • Analyze velocity data sources and their significance, review significance of Vp-Vs, apply Gardner equation
  • Review porosity information and note relationship to velocity and density
  • Study pore pressure, how it is determined in wells and how it can be estimated on seismic
  • The Eaton equation will be studied in greater detail
  • Overpressure determination based on the Eaton equation will be discussed
  • Basic rock physics described based on logs and how to derive them on seismic
  • Display format shown, as well as their application and relationship to Vp/Vs
  • Review rock mechanic principles, understand the significance of Hoek and Brown studies on rock stress
  • Brief discussion on microseismic
  • Define brittleness in terms of elastic parameters, describe how faulting and fracturing work and the significance of regional stress maps, discuss the effects of rock curvature on fracture styles
  • Describe the Mohr circle
  • Discuss anisotropy
    • Brief review and definition
    • Show how it is acquired
    • Review the application of AVAZ and relationship to anisotropy
  • Discuss closure index of fractures in terms of anisotropy
  • Seismic sequence stratigraphy
    • General concepts
    • Significance and play development
  • Review techniques to determine amount of erosion and implication on burial history and temperature estimation
  • Reserve estimate using material balance and discuss risk assessment

NOTE: the last three items are provided as support and applied if needed.

Learner Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to:

  • Provide information to share with PE and familiarize them with the terms used
  • Discuss the significance of detecting open fractures in the subsurface
  • Density derived from cores and logs compared to density inversion data to generate overburden pressure
  • Importance of documenting Vp and Vs and application Vp/Vs
  • Understand the importance of the Gardner equation
  • Review porosity as a function of depth and organic content. How to estimate general porosity on seismic
  • Eaton equation with respect to velocity information will be introduced and again described later in the course (For reference the Hubbert Willis (HW) and Mathews Kelly (MK) will be reviewed)
  • The Eaton equation is reviewed using the drilling “d” exponent, Poisson’s ratio and seismic velocity
  • Establish basic parameters for overpressure studies
  • The Lame parameters, Bulk modulus, Poisson’s ratio, Young’s modulus (dynamic and static) will be described and calculated
  • Learn to interpret rock physics and apply the tools to reduce risk. Learn how fluid substitution is carried out
  • Describe uniaxial and triaxial compress studies.  What they mean and how to use the results
  • Apply microseismic in hydraulic fracking
  • Learn to understand the impact of fractures and faults and significance of brittleness
  • Understand the significance of the Mohr circle as the min and max stress and the impact on fractures.  The effect of hydraulic fracking is described
  • Become sufficiently familiar with anisotropy to understand its applications and how to translate the observations to the PE
  • Become familiar with the concept of closure index
  • Learn quick and simple techniques to apply in sequence stratigraphy and its application
  • Understand the impact of erosion on the reservoir
  • Improve use of geophysical parameters in the reserve estimation. Include risk parameters

Instructor Biography

Peter Bartok