Practical Applications of Time-Lapse Seismic Data

David H. Johnston

The presentations will focus on fundamental principles and applications, emphasizing case studies and minimizing mathematics.


Two days

Intended Audience

Intermediate Level

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education required)

4D seismic interpretation is inherently integrative, drawing upon geophysical, geological, and reservoir engineering data and concepts. As a result, this course is appropriate for individuals from all subsurface disciplines. The presentations will focus on fundamental principles and applications, emphasizing case studies and minimizing mathematics. As a result, attendees do not need a theoretical background in either geophysics or engineering. However, a basic understanding of the seismic method is useful. For those who would like to explore 4D seismic technology in more detail, the course book and notes provide additional material and references.

Course Outline

Time-lapse (4D) seismic technology is a key enabler for improved hydrocarbon recovery and more cost-effective field operations. By analyzing differences of multiple seismic surveys acquired over a producing reservoir and by integrating with conventional reservoir monitoring data, 4D seismic data provides valuable insight on dynamic reservoir properties such as fluid saturation, pressure and temperature. Changes in these reservoir properties that occur during hydrocarbon production are identified and quantified by 4D analysis and used to identify areas of bypassed and undrained pay and to improve geological and engineering models. The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the fundamentals of 4D seismic technology, starting from its role in field lifecycle planning and then through seismic acquisition, processing, and analysis. However, a primary focus of the course is interpretation and data integration. Case study examples will be used to demonstrate key concepts and will be drawn upon to demonstrate the range of interpretation methods currently employed by the industry and the diversity of geological settings and production scenarios where 4D is making a difference.

The textbook Practical Applications of Time-Lapse Seismic Data prepared for the 2013 SEG DISC remains a key reference for the course. It is complemented and supplemented by detailed course notes (currently about 100 pages) and an extensive reference list.

Learner Outcomes

At the end of this course, the student should be able to discuss the fundamental principles of time-lapse 4D seismic monitoring applied to reservoir surveillance of saturation and pressure changes. The student will know:

  • In which geological settings, reservoir and fluid property conditions, and production scenarios 4D monitoring may be appropriate 
  • How seismic acquisition and processing of seismic data can impact the ability to detect reservoir changes and what can be used to measure and maximize repeatability
  • The basic concepts and workflows for time-lapse seismic interpretation and integration with geological and production data
  • How 4D seismic data can be used to impact reservoir management
  • How 4D seismic data have been applied in a number of case studies
  • Recent advances in time-lapse geophysical technology

Instructor Biography

David H. Johnston