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Attribute extraction:

An important application in any detailed 30D interpretation study

E. .I. H. RIJKS and J. C. E.M. JAUFFRED Shell Internationale Petroleum Maatschappij B. V. llae Hague The Netherlands

hree dimensionalseismicis playing an increasinglyimportant role in appraisal development and planning. Whereas,at first, 3 D datasetswere aimedat analyzingthe structural style andthe map ping of complexfields, more recently, 3-D seismichasprovedits value in defining detailsat reservoirlevel. Porecontent,reservoir faciesand very small faults which may impedefluid movement can often be mappedconfidentlywith 3-D seismic. The development 3-D seismic in imagingis seenby Shell top s management the single most importantbreakthrough techas in nology in many years. Hence in Shell, the role of 3-D seismicis massiveand still increasingin explorationand production(see E.O. Neatvold, l e use of 3-D seismic in exploration, appraisal h
andfielddevelopment, ProceedingsTwel&h WorM Petroleum Conuse gress, 1987;and77re of 3-D seismicin explorationandproduction, Energy IndustriesCouncil-Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Semi-


nar, Baghdad,Iraq, October 14-16, 1989). In 1990 more than 16 000 km* of 3-D seismicwas acquiredby Shell outsideNorth America, exceedingthe 1989 total of 10 880 ti by nearly 50 percent(Figure 1). Many of thesesurveyswere acquiredon land, in relatively easydeserttermins, in the complexurbansettings of major cities and industrial areasin Europe, and in jungles and swamps Africa and the Far East. in The importance the use of horizon attributedisplaysin the of detectionof subtlestructuraland stratigraphic featureshas been demonstrated manytimeswithin the Shell Group(seeApplications of 3-D seismicto &tailed reservoir delineation, by R. Buchanan et al., Societyof PetroleumEngineers,SPE 17561-5, 1988; and i%e use of dip and azimuth displaysfor 3-D seismic intelpretation. by G.J.H. Schoelcher al., ProceedingsNPS Geophysical et Conference, Kristiansand, Norway, March 5-7, 1990). Because of the improvementin seismicresolutionand the spectacular informationobtained,attributestudies considered are indispensible and are now routinely usedin all Shell 3-D interpretations. This paperdemonstrates, with a numberof examples,the crucial role playedby attributeanalysisin defining subsurface targets.

interpretationstrategy. In order to extract attributesin an optimalway, every singleseismic tracein the datasetmustbe interpreted.The interpretation approach usedis calledthe horizonorientedapproach, is summarized Figure2. Oncea horizon and in hasbeenchosen,it is interactivelyinterpreted the workstation on along a grid of selected lines. The number of lines forming this grid (usuallycalledthe controlgrid) depends the quality of the on seismicdata and on the stratigraphic structuralsettingof the and area. The controlgrid is then usedas input to an automatic tracking programwhich extends interpretation the horizonover the of the entire data set so that every CDP is picked. Batchautomatictracking, as it is called (Figure 2), limits the amountof actual interactiveinterpretation,but also ensuresthat thepicksare phase consistent from line to line in a way not feasible with conventionalinterpretationon a line to line basis. Several iterationsare often required.The results,which consist a grid of of two-waytime valuesfor every point of the interpreted dataset, must be carefully inspected and edited. Thesevaluesare usedto calculate,in turn, the dip and the azimuthof the horizonat every point of the dataset.Dip and azimuthmay be displayed separately or in combination the timevaluesthemselves usedto create and are so-called shaded relief displays.Additionally, timevaluesareused as referencefor the extractionof other importantattributes,like reflectionamplitude.Theseare the attributes whichare discussed in this paper. Gooddataqualityis a prerequisite reliableautotracking for and subsequent attributeextraction.Considerable attentionhas to be given to the color coding of dip, azimuth, and other attribute values,and dedicated color schemes have been found to be critical for displayingattributesin an optimal way.
and azimuth. R.M. Dalley et al, of Shell have described the basic mathematics behind dip and azimuth displaysfor 3-D seismicinterpretation (seeDip and azimuth displaysfor 3-D seismic interpretation, First Break, July 1989). The principle of dip

up D-


km2/yr 16000 Iw 0 16000 I-MARINE LAND 1660 16,100 KM ,


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Figure 1. Three-dimensionalseismicacquisition in Shell (outside North America).

Figure 2. Horizon-oriented interpretation strategy.


Figure 3. Principle of dip and azimuth calculation.

Figure 4. Tie


andazimuthcalculations simple(Figure 3). The dip and azimuth is parameters respectively magnitude thedirection,from are. the and a local reference,of the time gradientvector, calculated each at sampleof the interpretedhorizon. The computations carried are out by fitting a planethroughadjacent datapointsand posting the calculated valuesat thecentraldatapoint (Figure3). The dip value can be expressed degreesor radians, or more commonly, in in milliseconds meter. per Dip and azimuth values are normally displayedon separate maps.Thesemapsshould studied be independently, because faults, which affect the mappedhorizon, do not necessarilyshow up equally clearly. This is illustrated the first example.Figure4 shows time by the map of a horizonrepresenting top of a reservoir,at a depthof the about3000 m, in a southernNorth Sea field. FiguresSa and 5b showthe corresponding and azimuthdisplays.Thesereveala dip type and degreeof faulting which was never observed before in thisfield. When comparing bothdisplays,the azimuthmapclearly providesa betterdefinition of the faulting than the dip map. The explanation the differencein the clarity of faulting befor tweenthe two attributes simpleand is illustratedin Figure 6. A is fault will be clearly defined on the azimuth map when the dip directionof the fault plane is opposite the dip directionof the to beds.It will be poorly expressed when the fault plane dip direction is similar to thatof the horizon.A fault will be bestexpressed on the dip map when the dip angle of the fault plane is notably differentfrom the horizondip, and will be poorlyexpressed when the dip angle is closeto that of the horizon. In the example, the subtle faulting revealedby the dip and azimuthmapshada greatimpacton the field development strategy. Thesefaults, whichhave throwsof lessthan 10 m, are strike-slip relatedand coincidewith zonesof tight reservoir.They alsocompartmentalize reservoir,readilyexplainingthedifferenthydrothe carbon-water contacts encountered somewells. As a resultof in thisdetailedinterpretation new structural and concept, original the field development plan was drasticallyrevised. Anotherexampleillustratingthepowerof dip andazimuthtechniquesis from a major onshorefield in the Niger delta. The 3-D interpretation the Nun River field has been discussed J.D. of by Bouvieret al. in Three-dimensional interpretation of theNun River field, Nigeria, AAPG Bulletin 73, November 11, 1989. Despite difficult terrain conditionsnecessitating considerable expenditure, seismic dataof goodquality wasacquiredin this area (Figure 7). The data quality deteriorates little on the crestof the structure a due to the presenceof near-surfacelayers characterizedby anomalous velocities. The time map (Figure 8), of one of the reservoirs a depth at of about 1500 m, showsthe severefaulting which affectsthis horizon. However, this faulting is far betterexpressed the dip on and azimuthdisplays,which providea thorough understanding of the complexfault patternaffecting field (Figure9). Here again, the both displayshave to be studied,as some faults (indicatedby arrowsin Figures9a and 9b) are well expressed one display, on but poorly detectable the other, and vice versa. on
ombmed dip and azimuth. To overcomethe problemof the differencein detectabilitybetweenone display and another,dip and azimuthcan be displayedin combination.Figure 10 shows a combined and azimuthmap of the reservoirreferredto above. dip The different colors in the wheel representthe azimuth values while the color intensity is an indication of the dip angle (the steeper dip, the darkerthe color). Synthetic the faultsthrowingto the southwest showin dark blue, and antitheticfaultsthrowingto the northeast in deep orange.The northeastward southare and westwarddipping flanks of the roll-over structureare clearly recognizable. Within the box outlinedin Figure 10, the faultsare discontinuous change and directionover a shortdistance.A setof interactingsyntheticand antitheticfaults can be observedwhich resultsin a triangular, northeasterly dipping fault block protruding into the opposite flank. Suchsmalldetails,whichmay indicate fault block connectivity,would be easily missedin a conventional interpretation the vertical sections. of

Figure 5a. Dip map display calculated from time vah~es of Figure 4 (arrows outline faulting).

Figure 5b. Azimuth display calculated from time values of Figure 4.

Figure 6. Fault expression on dipkuhnuth displays.


Figure 7. Nun River field seismic line.

Figure 8. Nun River field time map.




EDGE OF exploration







1991 15







Figure 10. Nun River field combined dip/azimuth display (outlined area shows northeast dipping fault block wedging into opposite flank).





--+A a-+ -




Figure 11. Shaded relief-artificial

illumination principle.

Figure 12. Annerveen field, The Netherlands, northwestsoutheast seismic line.





1991 17

Figure 13. Annerveen field shadedrelief map.

haded relief (artitlcial illumination). In a shadedrelief display a grid is produced whichthe valuesare proportional the in to brightness the reflectionwhen illuminated by a light source. of The principle is somewhat similar to looking at the map of a seismic marker which would be illuminatedby the sun shiningfrom a certain directionat a given elevation. Figure 11 illustratesthe principle on a sketched faulted geologicsurface.Dependingon the directionof illumination, fault F will appearas a dark (A) or a bright (B) line-up. The exampleillustratingthe shaded relief display is from the Annerveengasfield situated just southof the giant Groningengas field in The Netherlands.The completeattributestudyhas been presented G. Hoetz and D.G. Watters(seeSeismichorizon atby tribute mappingfor the Annerveen gas jeld, 1990 EAEG conference,to be publishedin First Break in 1991). The main reservoir, asin the Groningenfield, is the Rotliegend sandstone (Figure 12). Figure 13 showsa shadedrelief display of the top reservoir horizon with, in this case, illumination from the northwest.The map reveals many structural features and, in particular, the presence a small graben(black arrow) in the southeastern of part of the field. The southeastward hadingfault of this grabenis not illuminatedand appears a black line-up. The otherfault plane, as hadingin theopposite direction,is brightlyilluminatedandappears as a white line-up. The throwsof thesefaults are very small, in fact, lessthan 10 m. The grabenshowsonly as two faultson the dip map (Figure 14) which lacksthe relief effect. Other differencescan be seenbetweenshadedrelief and dip displays.The fault trend in the westernpart of the area, which appears be a continuous to eventon the dip map, hasin fact a distinct en-echelonconfigurationon the shadedrelief map (Figures 13 and 14, the white arrow). This observation of great interest is as it hints at fault block communication. The useof the shaded relief technique shouldbe optimizedby studying displays with various directions of illumination and variouselevationangles.A fault directionparallelto the direction of illumination will not be apparent this type of display. on Am plitude. More or less successful amplitudeand bright spot studies havebeencarriedout on 2-D data for years.But 3-D seismic, with the help of modem interpretationtechniques,now providescontinuous amplitudemapsof suchhigh resolutionthat hydrocarbons reservoirdelineation and can oftenbe interpreted in spectacular detail. In the Niger delta, experience backedup by many studies has established clear relationshipbetween hydrocarbons a and amplitude anomalies.The amplitudemap in Figure 15 is from the samefield as discussed earlier, but from a deeperreservoirlevel than the level illustratedin Figures8- 10. High values(dark red) are indicativeof the presence hydrocarbons. the upperpart of In of themap, a clearanomaly,conformable with structural contours, outlinesan accumulation a well definedfault block. Similarly, in amplitudeanomaliesare presentin other fault blocks in the middle and lower partsof the map. Mostnotably,theamplitudes show a clear communication betweenthesefault blocks. The combinedstudyof amplitudeand otherattributedisplays resulted a detailedstructural in reassessment thisfield. This had of a markedimpacton the appraisal and development strategy the of field. In particular,thedrilling of two previously plannedappraisal wells wascancelled, basedon convincingstructural evidence,and resultedin savings easily coveringthe costof the 3-D survey. The studyof amplitudesis also a powerfultool for reservoir delineation. This is illustratedby the investigationof a channel feature in the Balingian Province, offshoreSarawakin the Far East. In this oil and gas province, seismicinterpretation comis plicated by poor reservoir continuity and intensefaulting. The reservoirsin the main productiveinterval, sandsdeposited a in fluviodeltaic environment,havelimited lateral continuityand, as a result, the seismiccharacter this interval is variable. in Figure 16a depictsa seismicsectionfrom a 3-D survey over one of the fields. The objectiveof the study was to map the top of a sand at about 900 ms (approximately1000 m). From log

Figure 14. Annerveen field dip map.

Figure 15. Nun River field amplitude map (dark red = hiiamplitude values).


Figure 16a. Seismicline of channel amplitude study, Balingian Province, Malaysia.

correlationit appeared that a sand,a few metersthick, in well 6 had for lateral equivalenta thick (40 m) sandin well 9 about 1 km farthernorth. The characteristic shapeof this sandwasinlog dicativeof the presence a channel. On the seismicsection,at of reservoirlevel, only a vague amplitudevariation in the area of well 9 could be detected(Figure 16a). The two seismicloops, corresponding respectively the top and the baseof the sandinto terval, were interpretedon a coarsegrid of lines, and the interpretation wasextended throughthedatasetvia an automatic tracking program.Amplitudeswere thenextracted both loops.The for amplitudedisplaysshowa distinctchannelfeature(Figures 16b and 16c), the lower loop display clearly revealingthe outline of the channelbody. The amplitudemap of the upperloop showsa higherlevel of stratigraphic detail with, in particular,the indication of a possiblecrevasse splay system.Integrationof the well data with the amplitude displays confirmed this interpretation (Figure 16d). Well 9, locatednear the middle of the channel,has goodsanddevelopment.Well 2 on the edgeof the channel,well 6 outsidethe channelin a proximal overbankarea, and wells 4 and 5 in the crevasse splay foundprogressively thinner sands. This studydemonstrates powerof a horizon-oriented the interpretationstrategyto detectsubtlestratigraphic detail beyondthe resolution conventional of interpretation. onclusions.A horizon-oriented interpretation approach, combining automatic volumetrackingand subsequent attributeextraction, is thekey to thedetection subtlestructural stratigraphic of and detail which is generally beyond the resolutionof vertical data interpretation. Throughthesemethods, hasbecome it apparent that structures are considerablymore complex than previously observed,as numerous small faultsand fracturedirectionscan now be detected.Thesedetailed interpretations particularlyvahrare able in the investigationof reservoirconnectivityand expected fluid flow patterns.The ability to delineatereservoirbodiesin a low net-to-gross formationcan lead to optimally selected drilling locations, nificantcostreductions, greatlyimprovedreserve si and estimates.c L
Acknowledgments: authors thank their colleaguesat Shellfor The commentsand assistancein providing material for this article. They are indebted to Shell tntemationale Petroleum Maatschappij BV for permissionto publish. Special thanksare due to Shell UK E&P, Shell Petroleum DevelopmentCompanyof Nigeria Ltd, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Nigeria and the Nigerian of National Petroleum Corporation, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij, Sarawak Shell Be&ad, and Petroliam Nasional Berhad of Malaysia for permissionto publish materialfrom the respective areas. E. J. H. Rijks graduated in geologyfrom the Universityof Leiden, The Netherlands. He joined Shell International in 1968 as a geophysicistand has worked in several capacities in both exploration and production departmentsin Nigeria, Sarawak (Malaysia), Tunisia, and The Hague head oflces. He is presently head of production seismic within the Depattment of Production Geology.

Figure 16b. Amplitude map (basesand).

Figure 16c. Amplitude map (top sand).

J. C. E. M. JaufSfed graduated from the Ecole Nationale Superieurede Geologiede Nancy (France). He joined Shell Intemational in 1971 as a geophysicistand has heM variouspositions in the United Kingdom, Gabon, The Netherlands, Algeria, and Tunisia. He is presently senior seismologist in the Production Seismicgroup in Shell head o&es in The Hague.

Figure 16d. Integrated seismic/logs interpretation.