University of Texas at Austin

Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory

Monday, April 29
Seismic characterization of carbonate systems (Janson)

Seismic data is a ubiquitous tool for every aspect of oil and gas exploration and production and as a result is used by geologists, geophysicists, and engineers with each discipline commonly having different goals, expectations, and outcomes of the seismic analysis. Related to the unique acoustic properties of carbonate deposits and complexities of carbonate systems, seismic analysis of these deposits can be challenging. In this workshop we will examine the fundamentals of seismic interpretation of carbonate systems by reviewing the following topics:

•    Seismic response of a variety of depositional environments and depositional systems
•    Techniques of seismic interpretation: seismic facies mapping, seismic stratigraphy, seismic geomorphology, and various seismic attributes and seismic inversions techniques
•    Control of acoustic properties of carbonate rocks on seismic signature
•    Seismic reservoir characterization using inversion

Tuesday, April 30
3D Integrated Carbonate Reservoir Characterization and Geomodeling (Dommisse and Kerans)

Integration of data into a common platform can be challenging and often times misleading. Large datasets of carbonate reservoirs are now common place yet we still have issues “pulling it all together.” How can you best integrate high-resolution stratigraphy and facies descriptions into a platform for regional examination? 

How important is core data in conducting a reservoir characterization study? What can we see in core versus logs versus seismic data? How do we build a sequence framework in a platform-top carbonate reservoir where stratal geometry is not a factor? At what scale do we need to correlate within a field to be able to constrain flow units and predict facies from logs? How much of the framework can be extracted from seismic data alone? These are some of the basic questions that will be addressed in this class.

Attendees will use establish sequence frameworks that will then be integrated with wireline-log and seismic data to develop a rigorous cycle and sequence-scale framework. Population of the framework with facies data derived from facies modeling workflows will be discussed, as will the linkage between facies, rock fabrics, and petrophysical properties. Class attendees will have an opportunity to do hands-on interpretation of cores, core-to-wireline log integration, core-guided wireline log correlation, and to a lesser degree, seismic mapping of key horizons.

Discussions regarding importance of a “rock-based” reservoir model in terms of assisting in predicting flow-unit delineation, mechanical stratigraphic units, and the limitations of seismic data in defining sequence frameworks at the reservoir scale will be a focus.

Wednesday, May 1
Austin Chalk Lithofacies, Mechanical Stratigraphy and Natural Fractures in tight carbonate systems (Loucks, Larson and Zahm) 

The Austin Chalk is active exploration play on the Upper Cretaceous drowned Gulf of Mexico shelf. Drilling continues from the Texas-Mexico border through Louisiana. We will examine several summary presentations and a series of cores in Austin Chalk ranging geographically from Maverick County in South Texas to West Felicia Parish in Louisiana. Presentations will cover regional depositional setting, lithofacies, depositional cycles, organic-matter characterization, mechanical stratigraphy, reservoir quality, and limited fracture analyses. This seminar is an excellent opportunity to see a variety of Austin lithofacies and be involved in discussions on these active exploration trends.

Thursday and Friday, May 2-3
Field Trip: Austin Chalk Lithofacies, Mechanical Stratigraphy and Natural Fractures in tight carbonate systems (Zahm, Loucks, Zheng, & Larson)

Working from Austin to Dallas, this field trip will visit several locations to view the Austin Chalk in outcrop with the intent to delineate the relationship between facies, mechanical stratigraphy, and natural-fracture development. We will focus on cycles that develop in the Austin Chalk that are important considerations for subsurface development. Several of the outcrop localities we will visit enable participants to view fractures (e.g., opening-mode veins and faults) as they interact with faults, facies and bedding. At each locality, the relevance to subsurface production will be discussed as we bridge key elements in outcrop to subsurface cores and well logs.