GEOLOGY & GEOPHYSICS
SEG 2014 takes stock
of geophysical technology, trends
“Innovation” and “integration” keys to industry direction
Two words that encapsulate the recent Society of Exploration Geophysicists annual International Exposition and 84th An- nual Meeting in Denver are “innovation” and “integration.” Of all the technologies involved in upstream oil and gas, none is more subject to innovations than is the geophysics side.
Much of the innovation touted at the event involved integration of
systems and programs into packages designed to give a bigger and
better understanding of the subsurface to a range of disciplines for
an improved life-of-feld span. There was also increasing interest in
the environmental aspects of offshore exploration.
The emphasis on integration is illustrated by the number of companies from large to small referencing the movement during the exposition. Following are some examples.
IHS Inc. Kingdom 2015 offers integration such as dynamic map
updates, geosteering, and 3D geology and fault attributes, enabling
geologists, geophysicists, and engineers to work in a shared platform.
The application provides for geoscience interpretation across geological, geophysical, and engineering interests. For geoscientists, it
delivers 3D analysis for fault interpretation and fracture identifcation, based on a new, patent-pending Illuminator technology. It also
offers geosteering to help engineers minimize risk and optimize
Landmark’s GeoGraphix is cited as providing seamless interpretation and seismic and geologic data, with high-resolution 3D seismic
attribute generation and seismic multi-attribute rock property prediction. All of this is integrated into one 3D scene. Even Landmark’s
single-user DecisionSpace G1 offers integrated earth modeling with
geophysical interpretation tools such as attribute analysis, velocity
modeling, well ties, and depth conversion.
Opend Tect 5.0 advances dGB’s HorizonCube and sequence stratigraphic interpretation capabilities. Key features, says dGB, include a
new interactive HorizonCube tracker workfow for 2D seismic.
Many new Opend Tect 5.0 features stem from the dGB-led Sequence
Stratigraphic Interpretation System (SSIS) consortium that includes
sponsors such as Saudi Aramco, Statoil, OMV, MOL, and Roc Oil.
Other features within OpendTect 5.0 include integration with
MATLAB for numerical computation, visualization, and programming; the application of post-stack attributes to pre-stack and multi-component datasets and the creation of multi-attribute outputs to
pre-stack or multi-component volumes; access to texture attributes
through links to dGB, Austrian-based research institute, Joanneum,
and Austrian oil and gas company, OMV Aktiengesellschaft.
Version 5.0 also included enhancements to SynthRock that combines forward modeling, rock physics, and inversion to create and
use forward models in qualitative and quantitative seismic interpretation studies.
StructureSolver’s StructureSolver 2.0 geophysical interpretation
program supplies methods of structural modeling and restoration
that integrates structural history, kinematics, and internal strain
measures, said the company. It includes linked animations of multiple
structures, calculation and display of strain ellipse and strain markers
for structural surfaces, and animation of strain throughout time.
StructureSolver also has “one-click” structural restoration that
can restore interpreted seismic or geologic sections by restoring
slip across faults.
StructureSolver says the program seeks to create paleovertical
trajectories in the present day seismic or geologic section that corre-
Technology Editor, Subsea & Seismic
Full wave form inversion (FWI) velocity models show detail and resolution, as seen within this depth slice from a broadband marine survey
acquired using BroadSeis, offshore Angola. As introduced by CGG, FWI
uses all the recorded seismic, including parts often removed during
conventional processing, to update the velocity model by minimizing
the mismatch between the observed seismic data and data modeled
through the current earth model. FWI can improve the modeling of
complex velocity structure associated with such things as shallow gas,
paleo-channels, supra-salt sediment carapace, or permafrost zones. In
these instances, the variable shallow geology causes shadow zones
and distortions in the seismic image that hinder accurate imaging
of the deeper earth. The models produced by FWI can be used by
imaging algorithms, such as reverse time migration, to provide clearer
subsurface images. CGG says it continues to further refine the FWI
processing flow, and has developed methods to reduce the artefacts
and velocity errors associated with cycle skipping. In addition to velocity, FWI can also help derive other seismic parameters. Anisotropy (VTI
or TTI) is included in the modeling of FWI. But now a joint update of
velocity and epsilon together can be performed, thereby updating the
anisotropy. Also, a high-resolution FWI velocity model can better constrain the area of analysis and convergence of Q tomography. (Image
courtesy of CGG Data Library)