Lunchbox Geophysics

Using Full-Wave, Full Azimuth Seismic Data to Exploit a Tight Fractured Gas Reservoir

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Mike Hall
Ion Geophysical

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 – 12:00 PM MST
Aquitaine Auditorium, +15 level of 540 - 5 Avenue SW

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LunchBox Geophysics is free! Simply bring your own lunch (refreshments provided) and enjoy.


In 2004 the Southwest Petroleum Branch of Sinopec committed to what was then the largest full-wave land acquisition project on record. This commitment came after a thorough investigation into how best to acquire seismic data that would solve their needs in further developing their XinChang field in the Sichuan province. An existing 3D conventional P-wave survey of good quality was insufficient to distinguish between good wells and poor wells. A 2D 3C test proved that good converted wave signal existed in the area and was capable of providing accurate fracture information.

This presentation describes the acquisition, processing and integrated reservoir interpretation that was performed using this data. The data were acquired using VectorSeis 3C sensors in a wide azimuth configuration thereby enabling the detection of fracture systems as well as accurate lithology discriminations. The effects on converted wave seismic data of fractures within the rocks will be described in conjunction with a processing flow to accurately extract this information from the data. The presentation will conclude with how the application of how Full-Wave seismic attributes are being used to characterize the reservoir. In particular the benefits obtained from the converted wave data in improving the reliability of lithology and fracture systems identification will be stressed.

Close collaboration between ION's GXT Imaging Solutions and the client resulted in the locating of several new wells that proved to be extremely productive and revived this exploration area that had been previously sentenced to death. This project is a good indication of what can gains can be made from a true collaborative approach to solving specific exploration or development issues with the application of advanced seismic imaging technology.


Mike Hall, Senior Staff Geophysicist with ION Geophysical received his master's in electronic engineering from the University of Calgary in 1977 specializing in sign bit Vibroseis. Mike has over 39 years of experience covering seismic acquisition, processing, interpretative processing and seismic survey design. His main interests are in reservoir characterization, seismic imaging and development geophysics; using 3D seismic in conjunction with other disciplines to achieve interpretation objectives. He has extensive experience in interpretive processing and a strong interest in the use of time lapse (4D) and multi-component surveys plus accurately imaging the subsurface in depth. Mike's experience covers land, transition zone, OBC and marine seismic throughout the world. He is keen on ensuring integration between acquisition, processing and interpretation. Mike was Chairman of the ProMAX Users Group and Geophysical Adviser to the UK government R&D LINK funding program. He has provided geophysical training for the OETB, presented courses on 3D Survey Design and on the QC of 3D seismic processing. Mike is currently a member of the SEG council representing Canada.