Improving the accuracy of seismic data

Paul Boughton
Emerson Process Management has released Roxar RMS 2012, the latest version of its reservoir modelling software. The launch sees the continued expansion of Roxar RMS into the geophysics domain through a completely integrated reservoir modelling workflow which includes seismic interpretation, reservoir simulation, reservoir behaviour predictions, and uncertainty management.
“With average global oil and gas recovery rates at just 22 per cent, the smallest percentage improvements can have a huge impact on both future oil and gas production and the bottom line,” said Kjetil Fagervik, md of Emerson’s Roxar Software Solutions. “Accurate predictive reservoir models that can realistically represent the underlying seismic data and that can offer a seamless route from seismic to simulation are absolutely central to efforts to improve oil and gas recovery today. These are the underlying goals behind Roxar RMS 2012.”
The key new features of RMS 2012 include seismic inversion, seismic attributes, and field planning (Fig. 1).
RMS seismic inversion allows geoscientists to use seismic data to create a rock property model quickly and accurately through increased automation. High frequency information from well logs is combined with band-limited frequency information from the seismic data to provide a fast and highly automated seismic inversion tool. Computed elastic parameters can be used to condition both facies models and the petrophysical properties of the reservoir.
Emerson says that RMS is the only inversion tool on the market today which can produce facies probability cubes automatically in the inversion process. “Probability cubes also provide an excellent QC tool and generate information equivalent to many stochastic inversions. RMS seismic attributes is a powerful new visualisation toolkit which enables modellers to extract maximum value from their seismic data through the creation of attributes that more clearly define reservoir structure and guide the user through the facies modelling process,” notes the company.[Page Break]
Key features include new importing tools for SEG-Y data sets and the fast and accurate visualisation of seismic data sets of any size through interactive opacity control and colour manipulation capabilities. The colour coded attributes are particularly useful for interpreting rock properties, structural features and hydrocarbon accumulations and can be used for guiding facies distributions and aiding the identification of faults and discontinuities. In this way, operators can derive more from their seismic data and better quantify rock and fluid properties in the reservoir.
The RMS field planning functionality enables modellers to quickly and accurately create multiple, optimal well plans for their fields. RMS field planning reduces the number of planning iterations and speeds up the planning process, bringing an increased level of control to field planning. The tool’s ability to design multiple targets, optimise pad and target locations, and automatically generate well paths with user defined constraints is particularly applicable to unconventional assets such as steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and shale gas fields.
Key features of RMS field planning include increased flexibility in importing and exporting multiple targets in comma separated values (CSV) format files; a target generator which enables modellers to create multiple copies of a target input with horizontal or vertical distance; the automatic generation of planned trajectories through a new well assignment table; and three new data objects which can be visualised or interactively edited in 2D or 3D.
Meanwhile in business news, Schlumberger has acquired GEDCO, a Calgary-based provider of integrated geophysical survey design software and services. The group will become part of the WesternGeco business unit. [Page Break]
GEDCO has developed OMNI 3D, the industry’s standard for seismic survey design and modelling, and VISTA, a flexible 2D/3D seismic data processing package. The group also offers consulting services for 2D and 3D seismic and vertical seismic profile (VSP) solutions from design through interpretation.
“The addition of GEDCO will enable us to better support our clients through the entire exploration and production cycle by complementing and extending our proven geophysical survey design and modelling capabilities,” said Maurice Nessim, vice president, WesternGeco GeoSolutions.
“This transaction is recognition of GEDCO’s success in developing innovative geophysical technologies and workflows,” said Andreas Cordsen, president and ceo, GEDCO. “With the added strength of the WesternGeco R&D programme, integration into their portfolio of software and services, and increased access to international markets, the GEDCO team is looking forward to joining WesternGeco and continuing to deliver leading geophysical software solutions to our clients worldwide.”
As the industry explores for oil and gas in increasingly complex geological environments with higher risks and ever increasing time pressure, survey design and modelling becomes even more critical to success. To this end GEDCO has issued the latest release of VISTA, for the first time available electronically from the company’s FTP site.
For its part, Hampson-Russell Software & Services, a CGGVeritas company, has launched a complete redesign of its suite of reservoir characterisation applications. Christened HRS-9, the suite of applications has new functionality and now shares a common intuitive interface and data management system amongst all modules.
The enhanced software interface acts as a dashboard, integrating all functionality from the previously separate programs into a single application. This new architecture is further enhanced with user-customisable workflows which span the historic separate applications, resulting in a more complete, solutions-based approach to reservoir characterisation.[Page Break]
Efficiency and speed advancements include multi-threaded 64-bit computing, allowing for the managed use of multiple CPU cores, batch processing for optimum resource scheduling, and the ability to chain processes together that require the output from one process as the input for another.
The Hampson-Russell HRS-9 software suite encompasses a wide spectrum of seismic exploration and reservoir characterisation technologies; from AVO analysis and inversion to 4D and multicomponent interpretation. The new integrated approach in HRS-9 facilitates a more in-depth analysis of the reservoir, further reducing exploration risk.
Dan Hampson and Brian Russell, founders of Hampson-Russell software, said: "Our focus was to significantly improve our software in our new HRS-9 release. Geoscientists are now able to perform deeper evaluations with more data and generate better results with less effort, fewer steps and a far gentler learning curve."
As part of its latest investment in new product development, Reavell has launched a new water-cooled compressor called the 5460, offering a constant, energy efficient source of high-pressure compressed air.
Developed in response to customer demand for a compact unit that is robust enough to meet the rigors of marine survey and other offshore applications, the new 5460 features a small footprint with maximum flexibility, meaning it can be easily installed, even in confined spaces where space is at a premium.  [Page Break]
The 5460 compressor is specially designed for use with sea or fresh water, with no need for a desalination unit. Packages can be bespoke engineered, with comprehensive control and monitoring software to meet the exacting demands of many different applications and pressure requirements.
Commenting on the launch, Jason Currall, marketing manager at Reavell said, “The new compressor is the result of a large investment in product development and market research.
By listening to our customers, particularly those in offshore applications such as marine surveying, we have been able to design a product that caters for their exacting needs.”
To minimise the risk of expensive breakdown and the logistics of scheduling repair, Reavell engineers carried out extensive testing to ensure the new unit could offer the durability and serviceability required.
Featuring easily accessible components and service points, the compressor ensures that routine maintenance can be carried out quickly and simply and that any downtime is kept to a minimum.
Capable of operating at up to 350bar (5000psi) and available with up to six stage compression, the unit offers a 5.3 per cent saving on specific power when compared to an equivalent air-cooled machine (Fig. 2).
“In applications such as seismic survey, compressors can be in constant use, providing high-pressure air to recharge airguns rapidly and continuously; sometimes every ten seconds for up to 12-hour periods,” said Neil Clarke, director of engineering at Reavell. “Operators therefore require a totally dependable and reliable source of air, that is economic to generate and quick to respond to changing demand patterns.”[Page Break]
GeoTOmo boosts processing systems
GeoThrust from GeoTOmo is designed to obtain an accurate earth model and earth image in time and depth from data recorded with irregular geometry in areas with rough topography, complex near-surface and complex subsurface. The company says it has uncompromisingly high technical specifications for data analysis and quality control, but is easy to learn and easy to use.
The company has also released the latest iteration of TomoPlus, Version 5.3 – described as a completely new, exciting experience for near surface imaging and statics solutions. Major new features include: improved automatic picking options which include time corrections such as applying static files or elevations statics to enhance first breaks; new azimuthal sectoring of traveltime file to allow traveltime tomography processing on different azimuthal ranges for identification of anisotropy; new 3D model analysis display for analysing the difference between velocity models; new first break density display for shots and receivers to help identify potential geometry or picking problems; new interferometry technology to enhance the first arrivals to improve first break picking accuracy of noisy data; and improved and enhanced gravity inversion and joint gravity - seismic inversion applications.
In terms of the 2D/3D picker, for example, the following are included among a host of detailed changes:  an implementation option to display first break pick density (in terms of number of traces picked, or percentage of traces picked) on shot basis and receiver basis. This will help identify shots and/or receivers with potential geometry or picking problems, and/or noisy traces; and the enabling of fault tolerance for multi-file import - ie restart/recover from bad file. This will allow the user to add in an additional segy file or replace a segy with incorrect headers to an existing multi-file project.
Fig. 1. New features with RMS 2012 include seismic inversion, seismic attributes, and field planning.
Fig. 2. The 5460 compressor meets the stringent requirements of seismic surveyors.

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