Role of Geophysics (seismic) in the development of oil fields

Oil and natural gas exploration -- geology and geophysics
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Seismic101
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Role of Geophysics (seismic) in the development of oil fields

Post by Seismic101 »

Geophysics is mainly associated with exploration activities. I would like to know how Geophysicists get involved in activities related to the development of oil field? Any resources on this would be highly appreciated.

pster
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Re: Role of Geophysics (seismic) in the development of oil fields

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Seismic101 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:18 am
I would like to know how Geophysicists get involved in activities related to the development of oil field?
One of the things I see more of is frac monitoring / proppant effectiveness. There are microseismic companies setting up large arrays centered about an active frac operation listening for snap crackle and pop. I’d say that was the biggest driver of the wireless seismic market, not reflection surveys.

Saw a bunch of companies at SEG (relative since years past) either offering EM services, software, or hardware to model the extent of proppant during frac operations.

On on the back end, also seeing a fair bit of groundwater exploration looking for non-potable sources of water for development use.

GuyM
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Re: Role of Geophysics (seismic) in the development of oil fields

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There's widespread use of reflection seismic on the "production" side of conventional plays; a lot of it tends to be node based in order to get the spatial sampling and resolution. The goal is usually refinement and update off the reservoir model being used in production, and/or "time lapse' or 4D surveying to review where (pressure/liquid) changes are taking place.

That's often about highly detailed quantitative stratigraphic inversion - determining physical rock properties from the seismic data calibrated to wells, which can then be used as inputs into reservoir simulation models.

Talking to the "node technology" providers this is where most of their growth is coming from, although the number of suppliers for land-based nodes (as opposed to deep water marine based) is increasing and the cost is coming down a lot.

This work tends not to get the same kind of promotional activity associated with exploration or discoveries, but its certainly where I'm seeing international growth at the moment.

Seismic101
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Re: Role of Geophysics (seismic) in the development of oil fields

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Thanks, everyone! Very helpful!
GuyM wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:48 pm
... The goal is usually refinement and update off the reservoir model being used in production ...
How else do they do this if seismic is not available?

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Re: Role of Geophysics (seismic) in the development of oil fields

Post by GuyM »

Reservoir models are usually updated by a combination seismic, drilling and production information.
If a well is watering out before your model predicted - go back and look at the model.
That might require you to shoot seismic. But it might not.

Remember companies are valued by their recoverable reserves; so the reservoir models have an impact on share price....

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