Reservoir Geophysics: Applications

William Abriel

The objective of the course is to demonstrate how and why geophysics adds value in reservoir management using examples from multiple geological environments (deepwater turbidites, onshore fluvial, near shore deltaics, carbonates).

The course is designed to examine and illustrate the dependencies of geology and engineering data on geophysical applications during reservoir management and to expose participants to the variety of geophysical tools used in reservoir work. The participants will become familiar with the application and value of geophysics for users (customers) as well as the inherent risks and uncertainties.


Two day

Intended Audience

Intermediate level

The primary attendees considered for this course are geophysicists of all backgrounds who are or will be supporting delineation, development and/or production of oil and gas fields. This includes interpreters, processors, researchers and service employees. The course is predominantly conceptual and graphical showing use by example, and no theoretical background in geophysics is required. Therefore, the course is also highly applicable to geologists, engineers, and managers engaged in reservoir management of oil and gas field and who use, or need to use, geophysics.

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education Required)

The course is designed to be followed by anyone with a broad geoscience background: no specific detailed foreknowledge is required, although a familiarity with geophysical terminology will be useful.

Course Outline

The material is organized into 8 lectures and 2 student problems for a total of 14 hours.

  1. The first lecture introduces the life cycle of reservoir management, what economic drivers are important in each cycle and how geophysics adds value. This includes concepts of uncertainty and value of information (VOI) calculation.
  2. This is followed by a lecture on the role of specific geophysical applications in discovery and delineation including the introduction of key well information, geological facies modeling and well ties. A case history is presented showing the difference between 2D and 3D AVO for delineating an oil discovery.
  3. The third section is a student hands-on problem for choosing well locations for delineating a deep water sub-salt discovery. Post-stack and pre-stack 3D seismic data are included. The actual delineation results are shown.
  4. The following section is presented on the role of geophysics in development. This concentrates on the value of seismic attributes (inversion, spectral decomposition, quadrature, …) showing their application to reservoir development projects.
  5. The fifth section covers production and the application of geophysics. This includes seismic response to field production, a work flow for 4D, and reservoir monitoring case histories.
  6. This is followed by a second student problem of a continental shelf project. The problem is presented with production drilling history and an initial 3D survey showing production effects in an oil reservoir. The students are asked to locate infill wells. Results are shown including a second time-lapse 3D survey and actual infill results.
  7. The seventh section is a description of reservoir geophysics in heavy oil environments. Production problems unique to heavy oil are discussed along with geophysical technologies to address them, including time-lapse seismic, cross-well seismic, and cross-well electromagnetics.
  8. The next section covers reservoir geophysics in carbonates. This includes reflection systems in carbonate facies, property estimation of carbonate reservoirs from seismic data. Case histories are presented including 4D reservoir monitoring of CO2 injection.
  9. The ninth section is lecture oriented with a description of geophysics for Shale resource plays. It includes the elements of geosteering, sweetspots, fracture systems and microseismic.
  10. The final section is a review of the state of advanced modeling for reservoir geophysics. The details of the SEG Advanced Modeling Corporation (SEAM) reservoir dynamic project is presented with information on the coupled modeling of geology, reservoir engineering, geomechanics and geophysics.

Instructor Biography

William Abriel