to May 17

Definition of Uncertainty in Pore Pressure Prediction

Stephen O'Connor (Ikon Science)

The course is aimed at both understanding and reducing uncertainty during well planning and design. Through discussion, you will learn how to consider both data-driven uncertainty as well as process-driven approaches. The ultimate aim is to see if Expected and High Cases can be appropriately risked such that percentage likelihood can be assigned to each.

It is recommended for any person involved in well design and for those that also act as peer-review from other departments and managers that need to understand the risks involved. 

The Uncertainty in Pore Pressure Prediction course is run in the style of a workshop and is comprised of presentations, discussion and simple exercises.  

Over 1.5 days, you will cover the following topics: 

  • Where uncertainty can arise in well planning and how to mitigate it 
  • Current industry approaches for predicting pore pressure – the good, bad & ugly 
  • Uncertainty and limitations in pore pressure algorithms  themselves
  • Determining pore pressure ramps  more accurately
  • The significance of human influence 
  • Quantifying meaningful uncertainty and how it impacts final well design and costs
  • More about this course's content and schedule.
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to Mar 21

First EAGE Workshop on Pore Pressure Prediction

  • Centre de congrès - Le Palais Beaumont (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Our job as PPFG practitioners is not only to generate the best possible predictions and update them whilst drilling, but also to effectively communicate the predictions, updates, and their uncertainties to the geomechanics (for wellbore stability), well design engineers, and the drilling teams that will design and execute the well.

Improving our predictions and our communication of them requires that we as an industry improve our ability to eliminate technical gaps, effectively integrate information from many subsurface disciplines, and develop closer interfaces with our Wells teams.

The objective of the workshop is to provide a forum to share our technical and organizational practices, propose solutions and discuss research approaches to resolve some of our outstanding technical challenges.

The audience concerned with this domain is wide: i.e., ExplorationGeologists for the 3D/basin vision, Operation Geologists for well analysis and follow-up, Geophysicists for seismic velocities, Geomechanics Engineers for the rock failure analysis and Well Engineers directly involved in well design and execution. Specialists in all these disciplines are invited to this forum to discuss and share experiences.

The Pore and Fracture Pressure Teams are the interface between the Geosciences and the Drilling world. In each company the organizational position of these teams is a pertinent question, and therefore the aim of the workshop is to examine both the technical challenges that we face, but also the organizational and communication challenges.

Extended abstracts can be submitted on the following topics:

1. Pore and Fracture Team interfaces
a. What information is supplied by Pressure Prediction Teams and in what number of curves/scenario, type of Frac curves, uncertainties, etc.
b. How does the drilling team deal with PP/FG curves and associated uncertainties (well design, contingencies, etc.)

2. Pore Pressure / Fracture Gradient Prediction in Difficult Environments
a. What alternative approaches are used when the standard method is not working – case studies
b. How do we deal with the frontier domain (no calibration, unknown basin and geology, etc.) – case studies

3. Monitoring of PP/FG while Drilling and Updating the Model
a. Which approach / tools are used to monitor Pore Pressure
and Fracture gradient while drilling
b. Is the pre-drill model updated with the acquired data/observations while drilling and how

4. Future Needs and New Research: What Can We Do in the Industry to Identify and Create the Next Game Changer?

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5:15 PM17:15

Rock Physics SIG

"RhoVe Method - A New Empirical Pore Pressure Transform"

Matt Czerniak (GCS Solutions, Inc.)


A new empirical pore pressure transform has been developed using modifications to methods first proposed by Alberty and McLean, 2003, and Alberty, 2011.  The rhob-velocity-effective stress (Rho-V-e) method produces a model-driven, stand-alone set of “virtual” rock properties, which at intermediate positions are consistent with Bowers method default values for the Gulf of Mexico (Bowers, 1995, 2001).  The RhoVe method uses a single transform to convert both compressional sonic and bulk density to common estimates of effective stress and pore pressure where convergence of the two transformed properties offers a robust solution.

Velocity-density conversion functions (of the form proposed by Bowers, 2001, and Raymer, Hunt, and Gardner, 1980), are mathematically linked to a continuous series of velocity-depth normal compaction trend functions. The calculations are limited by bounding end-member curves that provide a basis for intermediate (fractional) solutions of velocity-effective stress and density-effective stress relationships that are applied to a well of interest.  

Paired velocity-depth compaction trends were iteratively solved by using published theoretical porosity trends for smectite and illite (Lahann and Swarbrick, 2011), and published velocity-depth normal compaction trends (Ebrom and Heppard, 2010).  By using the comparative velocity-density functions that match the offset well data in cross-plot, normal effective stress for each end-member and intermediate solutions can be calculated by integrating the discrete velocity-depth profile - now converted to density-depth. The method produces robust solutions as tested on multiple deep water Gulf of Mexico wells, and extends the predictability of high-velocity, low-effective stress rock types such as those found in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Wilcox-equivalent Paleogene and older section.  The velocity-effective stress trend curves can also improve pore pressure characterization of the overlying overburden section extending to the mud line.  Advantages of the RhoVe method are that it can be made interactive and fast, relative to the application of other acoustic transform methods. 

This talk attempts to build on previous efforts by other workers to include the role of clay type, clay volume and diagenesis on altering velocity-effective stress relationships and presents a technique in which the effects of clay diagenesis and other factors may be captured and utilized empirically for pore pressure analysis and prediction.


Matthew Czerniak is the Director of GCS Solutions, Inc., The Woodlands, TX. He received his B.S. in Geology from Michigan State University and M.S. in Geology and Geophysics from Louisiana State University. He has worked as a professional geologist for 33 years, with about 20 years of work specializing in pore pressure analysis and prediction. He has worked for BP, Mobil Oil Exploration, Chevron, Hess, BHP and ConocoPhillips. 

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8:30 AM08:30

Ikon Science Technical Breakfast

"Recognizing Hydrodynamics for Reservoir Volumetrics, Field Development & Well Placement" 

Sam Green (Ikon Science)

By recognizing and quantifying the regional distribution of overpressure a better understanding of hydrocarbon distribution can be built. Changes in aquifer overpressure represent fluid potential driving hydrodynamic flow. When hydrocarbons are trapped above a dynamic aquifer the hydrocarbon-water contact becomes tilted; the magnitude of the tilt is controlled by the differences in overpressure and the relative fluid densities. Structural closure may no longer be the key control on fluid distribution which is now being controlled by the hydrodynamic spill point. If the distribution of hydrocarbons is no longer controlled by structure then the placement of exploration or appraisal wells requires careful consideration. If a fluid contact can be shown to tilt down to the West then a well drilled on the East will encounter a shallower contact, or possibly water if the tilt is significant, and the decision may be made to abandon a prospect. However, a well drilled on the West may have a deeper than expected contact leading to an interpretation of a significant discovery. Furthermore, if the fluid contact is tilted then the volumetrics of the trapped hydrocarbons changes, either positively or negatively, but must be assessed. In all cases the impact for future exploration, development and appraisal are important.

The Miocene reservoir system in the Gulf of Mexico has been shown to be laterally drained (Hauser et al, 2013), i.e., low overpressure reservoirs sandwiched between high overpressure shales in the K2 (Sanford et al, 2006) and Knotty Head (Williams et al, 2008) Fields. Systematic changes in reservoir overpressure have been identified in the location of the Mad Dog Field as well as a tilted hydrocarbon-water contact (Dias et al, 2009). The work presented here discusses the likely impact on hydrocarbon distribution for the Miocene reservoirs in more detail. Furthermore, the discussion will extend the understanding of the geological-pressure controls on fluid distribution to the Lower Tertiary Wilcox play and comment on the likely impact for that system. 

View Event →
to Feb 14

Geomechanics for Unconventionals

Jorg Herwanger (MP GeoMechanics)

The main geomechanical applications in this course will focus on fractures and hydraulic stimulation (fracture orientation and containment, re-activation of pre-existing fractures versus creation of new fractures, shear fractures versus tensile fractures, fault stability), and wellbore stability.

 The ultimate goal of a geomechanics course is to enable course participants to build geomechanical models and apply these successfully to field development issues. Given this is only a 2 day course it should be seen as the first step to achieve this wider objective but we  realistically expect course participants after attending the course to:

  • Understand the worksteps in building geomechanical models, and to be familiar in the theory behind these worksteps
  • Know what additional resources and standard textbooks can be used to build and apply geomechanical models
  • Have clarity in understanding in the assumptions in geomechanical projects, and be in a position to make a judgement on data requirements and input parameters. There will be ample discussion on assumptions made in different approaches to building geomechanical models
  • Read and understand geomechanical reports provided by service companies
  • Be able to challenge methods and assumptions in geomechanical reports with the report authors and have an informed discussion to improve the end result of a geomechanical project provide by a service company
  • Avoid the fate of becoming a person that unthinkingly clicks buttons in a software application to complete a workflow (“Nintendo-Geoscientists”). It is the aim of this course to impart understanding of Geomechanics that creates confidence in building and applying geomechanical models

The main geomechanical applications in this course will on fractures and hydraulic stimulation (fracture orientation and containment, re-activation of pre-existing fractures versus creation of new fractures, shear fractures versus tensile fractures, fault stability), and wellbore stability. The course time will be split in equal parts between (i) underlying theory, (ii) building and calibrating 1D wellbore centric geomechanical models and (iii) building, calibrating and applying 3D and 4D geomechanical models. Special emphasis is placed on using 3D seismic inversions as a data source (if available).

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6:00 PM18:00

CGN Technical Presentation

"Geological and Geomechanical Modeling of the Haynesville Shale: A Full Loop for Unconventional Fractured Reservoirs"

W. Sebastian Bayer, Marcus Wunderle, Ewerton Araujo (BHP Billiton)


The Haynesville Shale remains an extremely prolific shale gas-producing reservoir. The question is no longer how we produce gas from the Haynesville, but how we produce gas more efficiently. We have designed and implemented a multidisciplinary project to optimize completions and potentially increase productivity. Our detailed reservoir characterization takes into account hundreds of wells, thousands of quality data points, core studies, seismic interpretation, geologic, petrophysical, and geomechanical models. Understanding the matrix and fracture components of unconventional fractured reservoir systems is critical. In this case study, we attempt to demonstrate our methodology in the simplest form by looking at each component independently, with a geocellular reservoir model for the matrix (storage) and a discrete fracture network (DFN) for the natural fractures.


Sebastian Bayer is a Senior Reservoir Geologist with more than 10 years of industry experience focused on integrated-fit-for-purpose reservoir modeling. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a MS degree in Structural Geology and Stratigraphy and with a BS in Geology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. His current interests focus on integrated reservoir characterization and implementation of discrete fracture networks (DFN) based on geologic scenarios for the matrix and fracture components of the system. Scenarios integrate subsurface data, differentiate Geomechanical units, and incorporate stress. His work is based on robust static parameters to evaluate reservoir quality and production performance.

Marcus Wunderle is a Geologist. He has 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry spanning conventional development, unconventional exploration and development. Most recently he has been working on the Haynesville shale as a Geologist and Geomodeler. He is a graduate of Ohio University with an MS in geology, focusing on Geoscience Education, and a BS in Earth Science Education focusing on geology. His current work is primarily focused on interpreting and integrating all subsurface data into regional to well-scale geomodels for reservoir characterization.

Ewerton Araujo is the leader of a team of geomechanics experts at BHP Billiton. With 15 years of experience in the petroleum industry he has applied geomechanics across the entire life cycle of oil and gas fields. He holds a PhD and Master’s degrees in Geomechanics from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro, and a BS in Civil Engineering from Universidade Federal da Paraiba in Brazil. Currently, he is leading the implementation of cutting edge geomechanics technology within BHP Billiton with the application of sophisticated Finite Element Method simulations by making the bridge between Geological and Reservoir Simulation models for both conventional and unconventional assets of the company.

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5:15 PM17:15

Rock Physics SIG

"Dipole Shear Anisotropy Using Logging While Drilling Tools"

Matthew Blyth (Schlumberger)


This paper describes new modeling capabilities and processing workflows to output dipole shear anisotropy answers, such as the fast and slow dipole shear slownesses and azimuths from LWD sonic tools. A major objective is to model the coupling between the drill-collar and formation flexural modes that has been the root cause of measurement problems with LWD dipole in the past and invert either of these two modes for the formation dipole-shear slowness. A new dispersion extraction algorithm isolates and identifies both of these dispersive arrivals in the recorded wave train. This is followed by a model based inversion of either the drill-collar flexural or formation flexural dispersions to obtain the dipole shear slownesses either in a fast or slow formations. The method offers a robust and reliable dipole shear answer and opens the door to formation anisotropy characterization in all formations with LWD. 


Matthew Blyth is the LWD Geophysics, Acoustics and Geomechanics Domain Head with Schlumberger Drilling and Measurements.   Since joining Schlumberger in 1997 he has filled a variety of roles, all within the field of logging while drilling. He is currently involved in the long term technical development plan for LWD acoustic and seismic technology and their applications within Schlumberger.  He has authored and coauthored multiple papers on LWD technology and its uses.  Matthew graduated in 1996 from Cambridge University with a Bachelors and a Masters in Engineering. He is a member of the SPWLA, SPE, SEG and ASA and has served as both a VP and as President of the Houston SPWLA chapter.  He is currently the secretary of the SPWLA Sonic SIG and is a 2016/2017 SPWLA Distinguished Speaker.

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to Feb 1

RokDoc GeoMechanics Training Course

Monica Rasmussen (Ikon Science)

This course provides an introduction to RokDoc GeoMechanics and Image Logs functionality, as well as a brief introduction to PressureView.

This new course takes RokDoc users through the workflow and tools for 1D geomechanical modeling in RokDoc and show how to Build and calibrate a model in 1D, constrain in the Stress Polygon, cross-check predicted results with image logs, and build an offset well plan using RokDoc 2D.

Workflow 1 – Geomechanical Modelling in RokDoc

  • An introduction to the geomechanical workflow
  • Creating a RokDoc project

Workflow 2 – Workflow Editor

  • Building customisable workflows inside RokDoc

Workflow 3 – Data loading

  • Importing well logs, core and pressure measurements, and image logs

Workflow 4 – Viewing and utilising data

  • Well Viewer
  • MD to TVD conversions
  • Working intervals

Workflow 5 – Data QC and Conditioning

  • Log calculator
  • Rock physics model calibration and application
  • Cross-plot data QC

Workflow 6 – Image Logs

  • Display and calibration
  • Picking features on image logs

Workflow 7 – 1D Mechanical Stratigraphy

  • Elastic properties and rock strength
  • Fluid substitution
  • Dynamic/static correction
  • Rock property histograms

Workflow 8 – Pore pressure and stresses

  • Vertical stress and horizontal stresses
  • Pore pressure prediction

Workflow 9 – Model calibration

  • Collapse curve and tensile failure curve
  • Hoop stress and stress polygon plots for model parameterisation
  • User Programmer to calculate frictional limits
  • Model QC with available wells

Workflow 10 – RokDoc 2D and offset well extraction

  • RokDoc 2D
  • Extraction of data at planned well location

Workflow 11 – Model application

  • Fracture and breakout behaviour
  • Safe drilling window
  • Geomechanical plots

Optional workflows

  • eismic data loading
  • RokDoc 3D introduction, model building, and data extraction
  • Seismic pressure prediction
View Event →
5:30 PM17:30

HGS General Dinner

"Practical Seismic Petrophysics: The Effective Use of Log Data For Seismic Analysis"

Tad Smith (Apache)

The conditioning and analysis of log data for quantitative seismic interpretation is often simply categorized as “rock physics.”  Unfortunately, rock physics workflows often overlook or oversimplify the proper editing and interpretation of log data, the result of which can be unrealistic expectations and interpretations of seismic amplitude responses.  The more encompassing phrase “seismic petrophysics” better describes the necessary linkage between petrophysics and rock physics.  Seismic petrophysics not only includes rock physics, but also includes the proper conditioning and interpretation of log data that should occur prior to the application of rock physics and seismic models.  This is especially true in conditioning log data for shear-wave velocity estimation, fluid substitution calculations, and AVO modeling.  

This talk will focus on the important role of “seismic petrophysics” in the quest to extract additional information from subtle seismic responses.  Topics covered will include various aspects of log editing, petrophysical interpretation (including integration of other data sources- core, fluids, pressures, etc.), and some common pitfalls associated with the “workhorses” of rock physics (invasion corrections, shear velocity estimation, and elements of fluid substitution).   It is important to recognize that log data should not simply be recomputed to fit prior expectations as defined by a rock physics model.  Instead, rock physics models should be used as templates, which allow the interpreter to better understand the underlying physics of observed log responses and how they are governed by local petrophysical properties. Case studies will be used to reinforce critical concepts.

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8:30 AM08:30

Fully Coupled Geomechanics and Flow Simulation for Time-Lapse Seismic

"Fully Coupled Geomechanics and Flow Simulation for Time-Lapse Seismic"

Jorg Herwanger (MP Geomechanics)

Time-lapse seismic is now an established technology for areal reservoir monitoring. The future promises an even tighter integration between seismic reservoir monitoring and simulation models describing the flow and geomechanical processes during reservoir production. 

To this end, the SEG under its SEAM consortium, conducted a pilot study to test the ability to accurately simulate reservoir production and reservoir geomechanics, use these simulations to predict velocity changes, simulate full waveform synthetics and create migrated images of these data. 

In this technical breakfast, we share the reservoir flow and geomechanical simulations, as well as the rock-physics modeling. 

The simulator is based on finite-element technology. This allows to employ an innovative meshing algorithm that retains the geometry of individual turbidite fans. The simulations clearly demonstrate different reservoir production processes, such as gas-out-of-solution, different speeds of pressure and fluid fronts, as well as reservoir compaction (due to pressure decrease) and dilation (around injectors).

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8:30 AM08:30

Enhancing Confidence in Fracture Prediction Using Advanced Seismic Data Analysis

"Enhancing Confidence in Fracture Prediction Using Advanced Seismic Data Analysis. A case study from Russia"

Konstantin Smirnov

Information on the areas of high fracture can play a key role in the successful development of the majority of carbonate and unconventional reservoir types. Seismic data are one of the sources of such information and with modern acquisition methods optimally designed to obtain the field data of the highest quality, the possibilities now exist to extract maximum information and knowledge related directly to fracture characterization. 

Conventional surface seismic methods for fracture detection rely on the measurement of azimuthal anisotropy, coherency analysis other attributes. Diffraction imaging has gained interest to fracture detection and it is based on the fact that diffraction is the direct seismic wavefield response to small scale subsurface discontinuities. Seismic diffraction can help to detect and map systems of subsurface discontinuities that could be related to faults or fracture corridors. Increasing the confidence in fracture prediction can also be enhanced further by combining (fusion imaging) of the diffraction energy volume, the azimuthal anisotropy intensity volume and the geometry (coherence or dips or curvature) volume together using RGB blending in the 3-dimensional space. The integration with well log data can be used to quantify the probability of the areas of high fracture.

These techniques are presented in an integrated fracture zones detection case study for the oil and gas province of Russia. 

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5:15 PM17:15

Rock Physics SIG

"Dispersion and attenuation of seismic waves in fractured reservoirs

Boris Gurevich (Curtin University)

The detection and characterization of domains of intersecting fractures are important goals in several disciplines of current interest, including exploration and production of unconventional reservoirs, nuclear waste storage, CO2 sequestration, and groundwater hydrology, among others. The objective of this study is to quantify the effects of fracture intersections on the frequency-dependent elastic properties of fluid-saturated porous and fractured rocks. Three characteristic frequency regimes for fluid pressure communication are identified. In the low frequency limit, fractures are in full pressure communication with the embedding porous matrix and with other fractures. Conversely, in the high frequency limit, fractures are hydraulically isolated from the matrix and from other fractures. At intermediate frequencies, fractures are hydraulically isolated from the matrix porosity, but can be in hydraulic communication with each other, depending on whether fracture sets are intersecting. The theoretical predictions for each regime show good agreement with corresponding numerical simulations. The theoretical results are applicable not only to 2D but also to 3D fracture.

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to Jul 1

50th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium

The American Rock Mechanics Association invites you to its 50th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium to be held in Houston, Texas, USA on 26-29 June 2016. The 2016 program will focus on new and exciting advances in rock mechanics and geomechanics. In addition to being the central hub of the petroleum industry, Houston is one of the country’s most cosmopolitan and diverse cities that offers a great variety of activities and destinations for visitors. Houston’s deep cultural offerings include worldclassfine arts museums and the Natural Science Museum as well as its Symphony, Grand Opera, and Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The Houston Astros baseball team are in full swing in June and Galveston beckons with it beaches, bay, and bustling boardwalk. And NASA’s Houston Space Center is an icon that cannot be missed. Technical tours and field trips are being planned. Sightseeing tours will include various city landmarks, social activities and other attractions. Short courses and workshops will be held immediately prior to the symposium and will be listed as they are confirmed. Details will be provided on the symposium web page as they become available

View Event →
to Jun 2

Essentials of Rock Physics for Seismic Amplitude Interpretation

Klass Koster (Murphy Oil)


This highly acclaimed and constantly evolving course (now in its 11th year), is a must for all geoscientists wanting to understand rock physics principles, their application to amplitude interpretation (including AVO reflectivity and elastic inversion products) and how they can be applied to reduce drilling risk.

More than 90 courses have been given in the last decade. In-house presentations have been given to multi-nationals including Shell, ENI and British Gas, while representatives from more than 70 companies have attended public courses in the USA, UK, Holland, Italy, Norway, Mexico, Trinidad, India, South Africa and Australasia.

Dr Rob Simm has granted Ikon Science the rights to deliver this course by our approved tutors; Dr Mike Bacon, Dr Mark Sams and Dr Michel Kemper. More than 165 courses have been given in the last decade.


The course is designed for all geoscientists who wish to understand the principles of interpreting seismic data using rock physics models and gain awareness of how this may impact the perception of risk in exploration and production drilling. Attendees will receive a fully documented manual with text discussion, including all illustrations shown in the course. The course is a combination of lectures and practical exercises - these exercises use our RokDoc software, but no previous experience of the package is required.

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11:30 AM11:30

Seismic Driven Pore Pressure Prediction

  • 820 Gessner Road Houston, TX, 77024 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Overpressured formations have been encountered in every continent in the world where exploration wells are drilled for hydrocarbons. Unexpected overpressure is a major cause of drilling hazards like stuck pipe, well kicks, lost wells and blow-outs, that cost the industry millions of dollars. Accurate Pore Pressure Prediction (PPP) plays an important role in reducing drilling risk and cost, improving wellbore stability and optimizing casing seat selection and mud programs.
Paradigm provides technologies for well log and seismic-based Pore Pressure Prediction. Geolog Pore Pressure Prediction contains a rich collection of methods and formulas for pressure estimation using a variety of well logs. With Geolog Pore Pressure Prediction, the user not only predicts pressures at selected well locations, but also creates a 1D model for 3D seismic based Pore Pressure Prediction.
QSI Pore Pressure Prediction provides technologies for seismic based Pore Pressure Prediction, including:

  • High-resolution velocity analysis
  • Geologically plausible interval velocity creation
  • Time-to-depth conversion of interpretation data and seismic data
  • Pressure volume generation
  • Pressure volume visualization and interpretation

In this technical session we shall present and demonstrate technologies and workflows using seismic velocity, with a focus on the following topics:

  • Pore Pressure Prediction technology overview
  • Velocity modeling for the purpose of Pore Pressure Prediction
  • 1D pressure model development
  • 3D pressure volume generation, visualization and interpretation
View Event →
11:00 AM11:00

GSH Tech Lunch Downtown

"Using digital rocks and pore-scale multi-physics to characterize a sandstone reservoir

Mita Sengupta, Hess Corporation


Digital rocks are 3D image-based representations of pore-scale geometries that live in virtual laboratories. Imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT), microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), and FIB-SEM (Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopy) can help obtain 3-D high- resolution images of rock samples. These volume-imaging techniques produce data that can be explored using image processing and multi-physics simulations to understand material phases, grain structure, porous networks, and physical mechanisms that occur in them, without having to carry out destructive tests.

Today, we can use digital rocks to complement and expand physical measurements, and gain further insight into the key geologic properties that influence the physical behavior of rocks. We demonstrate the practical applicability of digital rock physics for reservoir characterization, particularly when integrated with physical measurements. In our study, we focus on porosity, permeability, electrical conductivity, and velocity measurements. Physical measurements provide “ground truth” to validate the digital computations. We combine lab measurements with numerical computations to enhance our understanding of multi-physics relationships in a heterogeneous sandstone reservoir. 

Digital rock physics is a powerful technique for understanding subsurface processes, and represents a paradigm shift in the field of rock physics. Our study shows that digital rock physics has evolved into a practically usable tool that can, not only bring physical insight into relationships between relevant rock properties, but can also bring quantitative value to real geophysical and engineering problems of oil exploration and production. Digital rock physics re-emphasizes the importance of rock physics as a strategic area of knowledge that builds and strengthens bridges between geology, geophysics and reservoir engineering.

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11:00 AM11:00

Webinar: Infusing Rock Physics into Seismic Inversion

Mick Jagger, philosopher and singer of The Rolling Stones back in 1969, sang rather pessimistically “You can’t always get what you want.” These words should ring true to all geoscientists: What we really want are measures of rock properties (such as facies/rock types, porosity, saturation, etc.), but what we typically measure in the field are quantities like resistivity, density, seismic wiggles, etc., —signals that are “somehow” related (to a smaller or larger degree) to these desired rock properties.

Obtaining profiles of rock properties from measured well logs is called petrophysical evaluation. Geologists, when they want to obtain estimates of overpressures, talk about prediction. Geophysicists, trying to obtain 3D images of rock properties from processed 3D seismic data, have a perhaps better, more formal name for this process: inversion.

Seismic inversion is a difficult endeavor, for the simple reason that the earth filters out a lot of the useful signal as it travels from a source through the subsurface to the receivers. What we are left with is a bandlimited signal with restricted information content. This can be readily seen when we compare a seismic trace against a corresponding impedance profile: The latter typically becomes larger as we go deeper (compaction hardens the earth), whereas the former keeps wiggling around zero. What a mismatch!

Even though the new broadband seismic acquisition technique increases the seismic information content (good!), the signal is still band-limited, and keeps wiggling around zero. Thus, the mismatch with the hardening impedance profile is still there.

In that same song, Jagger also sings of a more optimistic moment: “If you try sometimes, you might find … you get what you need!” — a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with! Seismic inversion may be difficult, and the information content of the seismic signal may be limited, but there are ever more sophisticated ways to perform seismic inversion, and that is what this lecture is all about.

The trick really is that somehow we need to add information to the seismic inversion process that is not in the seismic itself. For instance, low-frequency information (as the seismic is bandlimited), or high-frequency information (for the same reason). Much of this lecture is about adding this extra information, because there are many ways to do this, though not all equally successful. We shall focus specifically on using rock-physics models to better derive the extra information, because these are nothing other than relationships between what we get and what we want!

Just to put the reader’s mind (and ears) at ease: I shall not be singing during the lecture.

View Event →
11:00 AM11:00

Rock Physics SIG

"Statistical Rock Physics in Seismic Reservoir Characterization

Sagar Ronghe, DownUnder GeoSoluctions


This presentation will demonstrate the concepts and practical application of statistical rock physics in seismic reservoir characterization using data examples from the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia.

Quantitative, calibrated reservoir characterization integrates wireline and seismic data. Apart from the obvious resolution differences a number of issues affect the integration: wells may be few in number and preferentially located so that formation sampling is biased. Particular lithologies / fluids may only be intersected over certain narrow depth ranges. Recorded data by itself provides little understanding of the rock vertically and laterally away from the logged intervals. Wireline data, used in deterministic interpretation, provide a single solution without estimates of associated uncertainty. Under-sampled formations mean that the recorded logs are not representative of the population behavior of the particular lithology or fluid type under consideration.

Statistical rock physics addresses these issues and forms the cornerstone for the integration of well and seismic data in reservoir characterization. The workflow is illustrated with reference to well data from offshore Western Australia. Statistical rock physics comprises selecting and upscaling log intervals associated with particular lithologies, establishing depth dependent rock physics trends per lithology type, and stochastic modelling of the trends to generate probability density functions representative of the population behavior of key lithology and fluid combinations as a function of end member rock types, fluid content, reservoir quality and depth. 

Seismic reservoir characterization needs to be fit for purpose, given project objectives and data availability. Reservoir characterization methodologies span qualitative attribute analysis, deterministic inversion, probabilistic lithology predictions and stochastic inversion. Statistical rock physics provides the calibration between formation properties and the seismic response for all reservoir characterization techniques. Statistical rock physics models formation behavior in terms of both absolute rock property variation and amplitude variation with angle (AVA).  This presentation will show, using multiple data sets and results from published case studies, how statistical rock physics can be used to characterize expected seismic responses, ascertain whether lithologies of interest can be discriminated from a rock physics standpoint, provide AVA constraints to guide seismic inversion, derive probabilistic interpretations of lithology and fluid distributions from seismic attributes / inversion outputs, and quantify their petrophysical properties along with associated prediction uncertainties. 

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1:30 PM13:30

AADE Fluids Management Group Meeting

"Regulatory Update:  What's on the Radar and the Potential Impact to Offshore Operators"

Jodie Connor, J. Connor Consulting, Inc.

Jodie will provide insight into the current regulatory landscape on the OCS.   Oil and gas companies, including lessees and operators of OCS leases on the shelf and in deep-water Gulf of Mexico, continue to face an overwhelming increase in federal offshore rulemaking, policy and enforcement actions from various jurisdictional agencies.  Areas of regulatory focus to be presented include Financial Assurance, Incidents of Non-compliance and Civil Penalty Assessments, Best Available and Safest Technology and Safety and Environmental Management Systems. 

Jodie Connor has over 30 years' experience in the oil and gas industry with a concentration in environmental and regulatory compliance. Her company provides all regulatory permitting and compliance functions for OCS operators. Prior to forming J. Connor Consulting, Inc. in 1981, Jodie was employed by several independent oil and gas operators. Jodie served as an Industry Representative on the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Oil Spill Response Plan Task Force Development and has received the MMS Corporate Leadership Award. 

"Overview and Potential Impacts of BSEE Proposed Well Control Rule"

Lance Labiche, J. Connor Consulting, Inc.

Lance will not only provide an overview of BSEE's Proposed Well Control Rule, he will also review the potential impacts and unintended consequences in relation to Drilling margin, casing and cementing, containment, BOP equipment, Inspection/Mechanical Integrity and Real Time Monitoring.

Lance is a registered professional engineer with 13 years of experience in the exploration and production side of the oil and gas industry. His areas of expertise are drilling, completions, workovers and abandonments. 

Lance worked for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (formerly MMS) for 12 years. He started working for MMS in 2002 as a Field Engineer in the New Orleans District Office where he worked for 4 years in drilling and workovers. Lance then spent 2 years working as a Civil Penalty Reviewing Officer in the Office of Safety Management. From there he served as the Senior Drilling Engineer in the Technical Assessment and Operations Support Section. In 2011, Lance became Chief of the District Operations Support Section where he was responsible for the review and approval of all Well Containment Screening Tools, all BOP control system drawings, managing the Idle Iron Program as well as implementing all policies regarding drilling, completions, workovers, and abandonments. 

Lance has a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering as well as a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Louisiana State University. 

"New Standards Effects on Cement Design and Testing"

James Reid, Oxy

Mr. Reid will discuss the regulatory climate today in the US surrounding placement and evaluation of oil well cements and strive to answer how the new regulations affect cementing operations. Have new standards such as API Standard 65-2 affected cement design and testing in federal wells such as OCS and BLM as well as state wells cemented on land? How have new regulations affected cement design and cement sheath evaluation for slurries placed across the production or injection zone or other identified potential flow zones? What about potential loss of reserves due to post cementing inter-zonal flow? What about evaluation and confirmation of the cement job across potential flow zones? Is a "properly designed" cement job adequate for long term security of the HC zones after abandonment? 

Jamie Reid attended Louisiana State University and was awarded a BS in Petroleum Engineering. He worked for HLB and BJS prior to joining Oxy Petroleum, where he is a Senior Drilling Engineering Advisor working with all global Oxy business units primarily on cementing design, cementing operations, and remedial cementing planning and operations. These involve production reservoir conformance issues such as injection profile modification and use of cements and non-cementing materials for mechanical casing integrity. Mr. Reid is a member of API Subcommittee 10 and has worked on a number of subcommittees within SC10.  Currently he chairs a workgroup in SC10 on well abandonment. He is also a member of SPE and has been involved in ACTE cementing paper selection committees in the past, as well as SPE forums. 

"Impacts and status of the ongoing BSEE Well Control rulemaking"

Paul Sonnemann, SafeKick

As a final consequence of the 2010 Macondo/Deepwater Horizon tragedy, the drilling industry has long expected the BSEE has to update their rules relating to Well Control.  With the publication of a comprehensive proposed set of new well control rules on 4/17/ 2015, the BSEE initiated the formal rulemaking process, which was initially expected to be completed in early 2016. Industry response to the proposed regulations has been strong, however, and as of the beginning of 2016, there is no indication as to exactly what the new rules will include, nor when they will become finalized.

This presentation will highlight and illustrate the potential impact of several significant - and controversial - initially proposed rule changes that may or may not be included. It will also provide an update on what is known about the current state of this rulemaking process as of February 26th.

Paul Sonnemann is SafeKick's VP of Technology. Paul has spent his entire 35 year career focusing on well control while working in drilling operations, training, and technical support positions for several major drilling contractors and operators, He is currently VP of Technology at SafeKick, where he is actively promoting the long overduedevelopment and use of improved well control technologies. 

Since the late 80's, Paul has played an active role in many IADC, SPE, and DEA well control initiatives and is currently chairing the IADC Gas-In-Riser Workgroup as well as serving as liaison between the IADC Well Control and UBO/MPD Committees. He has edited or authored various well control books and manuals and has made numerous presentations at IADC and SPE events worldwide. Continuously seeking better ways to do things, Paul remains passionate about moving the industry forward toward use of more reliable, safer, and ultimately less expensive well control practices. 

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5:30 PM17:30

HGS General Dinner

"Big Bend Gulf Of Mexico Success, from Prospect to Production through Geoscience Integration"

Owen Stephens, Noble Energy

Big Bend is one of several recent discoveries made in Mississippi Canyon by Noble Energy and partners. Oil is contained in Lower Middle Miocene deepwater sandstones within a very high-relief combination structural/stratigraphic trap. This presentation will recount the subsurface analysis that drove the successful discovery and subsequent rapid development of the Big Bend Field.

Several techniques were used to de-risk Big Bend prior to drilling: Proprietarily processed WAz data provided meaningful uplift to the imaging adjacent and under salt, the DHI interpretation and migration velocities. This uplift increased the confidence in reservoir presence and quality. An improved velocity volume was used in the pore pressure analysis to assess column height and top seal potential, which helped mitigate containment risk. Chimney cube technology results confirmed migration pathway and thermogenic charge assumptions, as well as the leaky trap prediction from pore pressure analysis. Seismic inversion reduced concerns about reservoir and hydrocarbon presence. With the resulting increased confidence, the well drilled in late 2012,
discovering 130ft of high quality net oil pay.

After discovery, actively addressing the remaining field uncertainties allowed acceleration of both project sanction and first oil. Risk of the interpreted oil/water contact being a paleo-contact was reduced through fluid substitution modeling and geostatistical seismic inversion. An updated depositional model was created using sidewall core, conventional core from nearby analogs, image log analysis and seismic interpretation, reducing reservoir uncertainties and feeding into the reservoir model. This then guided a multi-phased reservoir modeling approach. First, a simple model provided production profiles for early project planning. Multiple deterministic cases were then used to assess volumetric and compartmentalization uncertainties. With those uncertainties understood, the development could be sanctioned as a single-well subsea tie-back, maximizing value by minimizing both appraisal costs and project costs, and accelerating first oil. The resulting early production history will allow further appraisal of field volumes and compartmentalization, in the upside case potentially justifying an additional producer and water injection.

Big Bend commenced production on October 26, 2015, less than three years from discovery and within the sanctioned budget, with production reaching over 20 Mboe/d.

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5:15 PM17:15

Rock Physics SIG

"Seismic Properties of Hydrocarbon Fluids

De-hua Han, University of Houston


“Who care geophysics and seismic, all we care are hydrocarbon fluids”. This statement has been made 20 years ago (1995) by Dr. Michael Batzle as we facilitate support for the “Fluids/DHI” consortium. It seems too extreme; however it is true then, now, as long as we, geophysicists, have worked for hydrocarbon reservoir exploration and production.

Understand of seismic properties (velocity and density) of hydrocarbons and their effects on seismic data are essential to bridge seismic data with properties of hydrocarbon reservoirs.  In comparison with porous rocks, hydrocarbon fluids appear to be simple as elastic (infinity Q) and uniform (scaleless), but complicated with dynamic phases. Hydrocarbon fluids in a single phase are usually composed of different compounds, especially gas can dissolve into oil, which called under-saturated. With pressure decreases below the bubble pressure, gas can bubble out of oil, became gas-oil (two saturated fluid phase) mixture. Properties of two phase mixture can be calculated by the Wood equation (1955) based on properties of each single phase. Therefore, we measured properties of hydrocarbon fluids in a single phase with ultrasonic technique on samples with a minimal volume (~30 cc).

We have measured hundreds hydrocarbon fluids samples from worldwide reservoirs at in situ conditions: pressure up to ~25000 Psi and temperature from sub-zero to over 200 °C.  In this presentation, I will present measured data and developed models of hydrocarbon fluids include mainly brine, gas and oil, as well as their applications for quantitative seismic interpretation and reservoir monitoring.

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