Addressing industry challenges.

Subsalt Imaging

Phase I: Subsalt Imaging in Tertiary Basins

SEAM Phase I: Challenges of Subsalt Imaging in Tertiary Basins, with Emphasis on Deepwater Gulf of Mexico has been a resounding success! The project was a resounding success, yielding data sets and models that are now available to the public.

Primary goals and accomplishments of SEAM Phase I:

  • The numerical SEAM Earth Model, representative of a 60-block area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. This model has been constructed in a form that easily enables extension to other complex imaging challenges by adding the rock properties necessary for elastic, nonseismic, anisotropic, and viscoelastic.
  • Simulation of approximately 65,000 shot records, containing as many as 450,000 traces each, for an acoustic dataset.
  • Development and adoption of a data compression scheme.
  • Development of multiple “classic” data subsets for broad usage by the global research and academic communities.
  • The initiation of complementary geophysical simulations (e.g., CSEM, gravity, and magnetic modeling) over the SEAM Earth Model.
  • Establishment of a process for efficient storage and distribution of the data and the “classic” datasets.

Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) awarded US$2.6 million to SEAM under the Ultra-Deepwater Program and the additional US$660,000 to fund the projects was provided by SEAM Phase I Participants.

Participants

Barrett Unconventional Model

Land Seismic Challenges: Barrett Unconventional Model

The digital Earth models and geophysical data sets of SEAM Phase II: Land Seismic Challenges are now available for licensing from SEG, as part of SEAM’s charter of advancing the science of applied geophysics for the petroleum industry and for public benefit.

This second SEAM project, which ran from 2011 to 2016, built three models designed to embody specific challenges in the exploration and characterization of petroleum reservoirs on land:

The Barrett Unconventional model focused on features of unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, including the characterization of finely laminated and fractured shale reservoirs by their full seismic anisotropy.

Each of the designs was translated into an industrial-scale digital Earth model consisting of a combination of surfaces, geobodies, and grids built with different geologic modeling software available at the time. The model was then discretized into a set of physical properties: for all three, this was done on a regular grid with fine enough sampling to capture the key structural and stratigraphic features. Finally, the gridded model was used to simulate the raw data of a suite of geophysical measurements, including three-dimensional (3D) surface seismic and borehole seismic surveys, as well as surface and airborne gravity and electromagnetic (EM) surveys including full-tensor gravity (FTG), airborne EM, ground controlled source EM (CSEM) and magnetotellurics (MT).

In aggregate, more than 100,000 seismic shots were simulated over the three SEAM land models, representing more than a petabyte of high-quality seismic simulations. Data sets are available in standard 3D orthogonal field layouts, as well as in carpet-style surveys with millions of channels.

For the Barrett Unconventional model: simulation of the total model and near-surface responses separately to allow experiments testing noise removal and imaging algorithms at different levels of geologic noise.

SEAM Phase II ran under the direction of a management committee consisting of representatives from 22 oil and oilfield-service companies.

Participants

Arid Model

Land Seismic Challenges: Arid Model

The digital Earth models and geophysical data sets of SEAM Phase II: Land Seismic Challenges are now available for licensing from SEG, as part of SEAM’s charter of advancing the science of applied geophysics for the petroleum industry and for public benefit.

This second SEAM project, which ran from 2011 to 2016, built three models designed to embody specific challenges in the exploration and characterization of petroleum reservoirs on land:

The Arid model focused on features of desert environments, including karst structures and extreme contrasts between unconsolidated near-surface sediments and bedrock, which often obscure deeper imaging targets.

Each of the designs was translated into an industrial-scale digital Earth model consisting of a combination of surfaces, geobodies, and grids built with different geologic modeling software available at the time. The model was then discretized into a set of physical properties: for all three, this was done on a regular grid with fine enough sampling to capture the key structural and stratigraphic features. Finally, the gridded model was used to simulate the raw data of a suite of geophysical measurements, including three-dimensional (3D) surface seismic and borehole seismic surveys, as well as surface and airborne gravity and electromagnetic (EM) surveys including full-tensor gravity (FTG), airborne EM, ground controlled source EM (CSEM) and magnetotellurics (MT).

In aggregate, more than 100,000 seismic shots were simulated over the three SEAM land models, representing more than a petabyte of high-quality seismic simulations. Data sets are available in standard 3D orthogonal field layouts, as well as in carpet-style surveys with millions of channels.

For the Arid model recording of high-component data in selected regions, including three components of particle velocity and particle rotation along with pressure and its gradient, as well as recording of “datuming” arrays with sources and receivers moved below the karsted region.

SEAM Phase II ran under the direction of a management committee consisting of representatives from 22 oil and oilfield-service companies.

Participants

Foothills Model

Land Seismic Challenges: Foothills Model

The digital Earth models and geophysical data sets of SEAM Phase II: Land Seismic Challenges are now available for licensing from SEG, as part of SEAM’s charter of advancing the science of applied geophysics for the petroleum industry and for public benefit.

This second SEAM project, which ran from 2011 to 2016, built three models designed to embody specific challenges in the exploration and characterization of petroleum reservoirs on land:

The Foothills model focused on features of mountainous regions, including sharp topography and soft alluvial fill at the surface and complex structures at depth caused by compressive fold and thrust tectonics.

Each of the designs was translated into an industrial-scale digital Earth model consisting of a combination of surfaces, geobodies, and grids built with different geologic modeling software available at the time. The model was then discretized into a set of physical properties: for all three, this was done on a regular grid with fine enough sampling to capture the key structural and stratigraphic features. Finally, the gridded model was used to simulate the raw data of a suite of geophysical measurements, including three-dimensional (3D) surface seismic and borehole seismic surveys, as well as surface and airborne gravity and electromagnetic (EM) surveys including full-tensor gravity (FTG), airborne EM, ground controlled source EM (CSEM) and magnetotellurics (MT).

In aggregate, more than 100,000 seismic shots were simulated over the three SEAM land models, representing more than a petabyte of high-quality seismic simulations. Data sets are available in standard 3D orthogonal field layouts, as well as in carpet-style surveys with millions of channels.

For the Foothills model recording of the complete wavefield at a dense array of three component receivers covering the surface to allow experiments testing data interpolation and extrapolation algorithms in regions of rapidly varying topography.

SEAM Phase II ran under the direction of a management committee consisting of representatives from 22 oil and oilfield-service companies.

Participants

Pressure Prediction

SEAM Pressure Prediction and Hazard Avoidance through Improved Seismic Imaging

Pressure Prediction and Hazard Avoidance through Improved Seismic Imaging will evaluate and advance current methodologies for pre-drill pressure and hazard prediction.

The research consortium provides a collaborative forum where industry experts prioritize current challenges in the use of seismic velocity models to construct pre-drill pore pressure forecasts for well planning. These challenges are used to design a comprehensive earth model and to “acquire”, through state-of-the-art computer simulation, benchmark data sets to be used by industry for quantifying risk and uncertainty associated with velocity models derived from current and future state-of-the-art in seismic acquisition, processing and imaging.

Though the focus will be Gulf of Mexico Deepwater, the resultant advances in pressure prediction technology and methodology will be more broadly relevant. SEAM Pressure Prediction commenced in late 2014.

SEAM Time Lapse Pilot

Following the launch of the Pressure Prediction project in 2014, there has been a significant extension of the project, funded separately by the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory which models 4D changes in pore pressure during a plausible production scenario. This is a small, simple, quick version of SEAM LoF that was completed at the end of 3Q16.

Participants

Time Lapse Pilot

4D Pressure Prediction through Improved Seismic Imaging and Reservoir Characterization

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 US$500,000 grant from NETL through RPSEA, with a US$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.

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.

Participants

Life of Field (LoF)

4D Subsurface Simulation

Life of Field workflows involve expertise in geology, engineering, and geophysics. The full work process was previously not adequately benchmarked for interpretation accuracy and workflows were inefficient. Exercising an industrial-scale synthetic data set could significantly improve this.

SEAM Life of Field data was generated for complex geology, complete reservoir description, and seismic. Reservoir dynamics were simulated along with the resulting well and geophysical and geomechanical responses. The resulting data can be used to estimate the “inverse” problem of interpreting reservoir dynamics in a unique condition where everything about the reservoir is known.

The project initiated on 31 December 2015 and was completed in December 2020. Deliverables include:

  • Files defining a digital representation of a generic Earth model consisting of a Tertiary sedimentary basin with salt tectonics and lower and upper petroleum reservoirs
  • Simulations of seismic and gravity data as might be collected over the model in standard geophysical remote-sensing surveys
  • Files defining a digital representation of a generic Earth model consisting of a carbonate platform with petroleum reservoirs

Participants

Artificial Intelligence

Testing AI Applications in Petroleum Geophysics

SEAM’s current project Artificial Intelligence addresses the most important AI challenges in oil and gas geophysics. The goals for this project include:

  • Identify and distribute suitable test benchmarks for public use and assess results of AI application on these data.
  • Enable a cloud collaboration network for the advancement of AI in applied geophysics.
  • Establish global formats and standards for data exchange, co-operative projects, and research communication.

Participants

CO2 Sequestration

SEAM CCUS numerical subsurface modeling – Deliverables Summary

  • Provide a workspace for research, development and commercialization
  • Provide common benchmarks for testing algorithms and workflows
  • Influence a common view on necessary but sufficient standards (e.g. monitor requirements for reserves verification)
  • Provide a vehicle for public communication, knowledge transfer and awareness

Status of the SEAM CO2 Project

The first SEAM CO2 model has been built. The main reservoir in the model consists of a sequence of stacked turbidites located below a shale caprock. Two reservoirs exist at different depths above the caprock that are potential locations for CO2 that have leaked through the caprock by various mechanisms. Considerable effort has been made to identify the appropriate rock physics to define geophysical parameters of the rocks (elastic moduli, density, resistivity) both before and after CO2 has been injected. Reservoir simulations have been initiated and have provided good information about the migration of CO2 within the reservoir and through the leakage pathways. This information has led to a refinement of the model to make it more appropriate for participants’ interests. Coupled reservoir flow/geomechanical simulations will soon follow so that we can obtain the most realistic model for the distribution of CO2 within the model. Several scenarios will be tested and include one where CO2 is fully contained within the main reservoir and scenarios where CO2 leaks into the upper reservoirs. We are in the process of defining the set of 4D geophysical simulations that will be conducted on both the baseline and monitor models. Initial tests have provided insight into the ability to characterize the distribution of injected CO2 within the model. Geophysical simulations will be conducted to test the ability to detect leakage from the main reservoir and the impacts that the migration of CO2 into shallower reservoirs has on the ability to detect and characterize the distribution of CO2 within the overall model. We also plan to model induced seismicity that occurs along preexisting faults within the model. Of particular interest for the initial model is to develop robust approaches for passing models from reservoir/geomechanical simulation output to formats required for geophysical simulation in a manner that preserves all relevant information.

Subsurface dynamics complexity efficiently coupling the simulation systems

Participants

Get the Best Technical Modeling While Saving Money

Guide the formation of the project and tailor it to your specific needs while sharing the cost effort of substantial model design and generation. Get exposure to diverse expertise supplied by each participating company and access to the data two years before the industry.