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Improving Geologic and Engineering Models of Midcontinent Fracture and Karst-Modified Reservoirs Using New 3-D Seismic Attributes

Description: Our project goal was to develop innovative seismic-based workflows for the incremental recovery of oil from karst-modified reservoirs within the onshore continental United States. Specific project objectives were: (1) to calibrate new multi-trace seismic attributes (volumetric curvature, in particular) for improved imaging of karst-modified reservoirs, (2) to develop attribute-based, cost-effective workflows to better characterize karst-modified carbonate reservoirs and fracture systems, and (3) to improve accuracy and predictiveness of resulting geomodels and reservoir simulations. In order to develop our workflows and validate our techniques, we conducted integrated studies of five karst-modified reservoirs in west Texas, Colorado, and Kansas. Our studies show that 3-D seismic volumetric curvature attributes have the ability to re-veal previously unknown features or provide enhanced visibility of karst and fracture features compared with other seismic analysis methods. Using these attributes, we recognize collapse features, solution-enlarged fractures, and geomorphologies that appear to be related to mature, cockpit landscapes. In four of our reservoir studies, volumetric curvature attributes appear to delineate reservoir compartment boundaries that impact production. The presence of these compartment boundaries was corroborated by reservoir simulations in two of the study areas. Based on our study results, we conclude that volumetric curvature attributes are valuable tools for mapping compartment boundaries in fracture- and karst-modified reservoirs, and we propose a best practices workflow for incorporating these attributes into reservoir characterization. When properly calibrated with geological and production data, these attributes can be used to predict the locations and sizes of undrained reservoir compartments. Technology transfer of our project work has been accomplished through presentations at professional society meetings, peer-reviewed publications, Kansas Geological Survey Open-file reports, Master's theses, and postings on the project website: http://www.kgs.ku.edu/SEISKARST.
Date: March 31, 2009
Creator: Nissen, Susan; Bhattacharya, Saibal; Watney, W. Lynn & Doveton, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department