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Reservoir Characterization by Integrating Well Data and Seismic Attributes

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Abstract Fueled by the continuing development of computer technology, traditional techniques for reservoir characterization have evolved into a multi-disciplinary process. In particular, geostatistical techniques have provided a framework for integrating all available engineering and geoscience data. In this paper, we will demonstrate a seismic-guided geostatistical method on a realistic seismic data set. A cross section from a three-dimensional reservoir facies model was used to test the capabilities of this method. Synthetic seismic data were generated from the geologic cross section and then input to a seismic inversion process to estimate acoustic impedance. Five porosity logs derived from the known model were used as hard data. Using this hard data, and utilizing varying correlation coefficients between the hard data and soft data, a set of gridded maps were generated using a geostatistical method. Comparisons of the results with the known model clearly indicate the potential of this type of approach to provide meaningful reservoir characterizations consistent with the available data. The integration procedure illustrated in this paper can be used as a basis by engineers and geoscientists to develop specific procedures for their applications. The demonstrations in characterization quality improvement can be used to justify the need for integrating seismic data into the reservoir description process. Introduction The most commonly used data in reservoir description are well data and seismic data. Well data such as logs typically provide sufficient vertical resolution but leave a large space between the wells. 3D seismic data, on the other hand, can provide more detailed reservoir characterization between wells. However, vertical resolution of seismic data is poor compared to that of well data. Conventionally, seismic data has been used to delineate reservoir structure, however, there has been limited application of using seismic data to help directly map reservoir properties such as porosity. There are several difficulties hindering the incorporation of seismic data into mapping of reservoir properties. The first problem is depth match. The second problem is frequency match. The third problem is calibration to reservoir properties. The fourth problem is how to integrate well data and calibrated seismic data for the final reservoir characterization. Because each of these problems is a challenge, a method to tackle the combination of these problems is difficult to verify. For this reason we decided to use known examples to study and verify our methodology. In this paper, synthetic seismic data generated from a three-dimensional reservoir facies model was used to

demonstrate that with properly prepared data, we can combine seismic data and well logs with geostatistical tools to produce a better reservoir description model. Geostatistics provides a tool to integrate well data and calibrated seismic data. It takes into account the correlation between well data and seismic data as well as the spatial correlation of the reservoir property to be modeled. Promising results has led to applications to field projects. Synthetic Seismic Attributes A set of synthetic seismic attributes were generated from a three-dimensional reservoir facies model of the Lower Miocene sandstone-shale sequence at Powderhorn field in the south Texas Gulf Coast area (Zeng,1994). A north-south cross-section with 46 traces were used in this study. From various log data and a given geological model, 46 synthetic sonic logs were produced as the basic data. Then 46 traces of synthetic impedance logs and 46 traces of synthetic seismic traces were generated by forward modeling. Assuming these synthetic seismic traces were real seismic data, they were inverted to 46 impedance traces. Seismic Data Qualification Seismic data usually provide valuable spatial information which well data cannot furnish because of relatively large well spacing. However, to use seismic data for mapping reservoir properties requires that the seismic data reflects the relative change of that reservoir property from location to location. For example, suppose we want the seismic data to help us identify high porosity areas in a reservoir zone, then the seismic amplitude in that zone should vary according to the reservoir porosity. If the seismic data had been normalized to have about the same amplitude for that zone, we cannot learn anything about the porosity variation. In another words, we need seismic data that has relative amplitude preserved. Depth Match Matching seismic depth to well depth is the basic and most important step in combining seismic with well data. A depth mismatch usually renders the remaining effort useless. By using synthetic seismic data, the exact depth is known and we can concentrate our effort in the remaining areas. Frequency Match In the vertical direction, surface seismic data has been filtered through the earth so that both high and low end frequency components are missing. In contrast, well data contains both low frequency component, in the form of vertical trend, and high frequency component, in the form of thin layer deflections. When seismic amplitude is inversed to impedance, a vertical trend may be introduced. This vertical trend, however, may be different from that contained in well data. Therefore, it may be necessary to separate the vertical trend from one or both of seismic data and well data before the two data types can be integrated. Figure 1 shows an example of a sonic log with strong vertical trend, and Figure 2 show an example of inversed impedance trace with a vertical trend. The sonic

log trace in Figure 1, as used in this study, has been vertically smoothed to remove the high frequency component so that it would match the seismic data. Calibration to Well Data Because it is unlikely to directly calculate reservoir properties from seismic data, we need to calibrate seismic data to well data, assuming well data is a more direct measurement of reservoir properties. The calibration can be done in two steps. The first step is to transform seismic data into a property that is more directly related to well data. Typically this means inverting seismic amplitude to impedance (or pseudo-impedance). The second step is to convert the transformed seismic data to the reservoir property. One example would be to normalize the seismic data to have the same average and standard deviation as the porosity from well data. This means normalizing seismic derived impedance data to porosity data. Geostatistical Gridding with Soft data After data quality checking and data transform, we can apply geostatistical methods to combine the transformed seismic data with well data. There are three steps in geostatistical mapping: evaluate data distribution, model spatial continuity, and make grid (populate the grid with interpolated values). Data Distribution Univariate analysis (i.e. the distribution of the data type without regard to location or relationship to other data) is the simplest mathematical tool that can help to check the quality and gain understanding of the data. Some basic parameters are the number of data, minimum, maximum, average, standard deviation, and skewness. To be familiar with the data distribution, with the help of such tools as histogram or probability density function, is essential. After the seismic data have been calibrated and transformed to the reservoir property data type, the distribution of the data should be similar to that of the well data. With geostatistical gridding, the data distribution can be better preserved by converting the data into a normal distribution before the interpolation and then convert the results back after the interpolation. This process of matching the result to the data distribution is accomplished by first calculating the cumulative distribution of the data and converting the data to a normal distribution based on this cumulative distribution. Then the final results are converted back from normal distribution data to original data type based on this same cumulative distribution. Spatial Continuity Spatial continuity can be measured by how similar the neighboring points are or, from the opposite view, how different the neighboring points are. Spatial continuity or variation is modeled in geostatistics by the variogram (Journel, A. G. and Ch. J. Huijbregts, 1978). Fractal (Mandelbrot, B. B. and J. W. Van Ness, 1968), another well known measurement of data variation, is a special type

of variogram model. The variogram is calculated from the data as the variance of difference between data separated a certain distance apart. When the data are more different, the variance is larger. Since most geological data become more similar when they are closer in location, the variance should become smaller when separation distance becomes smaller. In general, we would expect data to become more different when they are farther apart. When the distance is larger than the so called correlation range, we would expect little relationship between the data points. Therefore the correlation range is the limit beyond which we cannot make a prediction from the known data. This correlation range is generally different for different directions. The relative degree of continuity or spatial correlation between different directions is one of the most important aspect of the spatial continuity model. A hypothetical example of spatial continuity description would be that a reservoir region is twice more continuous along the north-south direction than the east-west direction, and is twenty times more continuous in the north-south direction along the bedding plane than the vertical direction, perpendicular to the bedding plane. If the correlation range is 100 vertically, the correlation range would be 2000 along the north-south direction, and 1000 in the east-west direction. There two implications from this model when we are making a map. The first one is that we should limit the search radius to 2000, which means that areas without a data point within distance of 2000 should not expect an extrapolated value. The other implication is that a data measurement from a distance of 1000 to the north at the same horizon level should have more weight than a measurement from a distance of 100 above the current point of interest, because a data point from a distance of 50 above the current point of interest has the same degree of correlation as that data point 1000 to the north. This concept of spatial continuity is the foundation for geostatistics. In fact, any method of mapping has some implicit assumption of spatial continuity. Whenever you enter a search radius into a mapping software (or using the default search radius provided by the software), you are in fact assuming there is spatial correlation in the data within the search radius. Geostatistical Gridding The bulk of a reservoir lies between the wells, and the closest approximation to a direct measurement is interpolation of well data. Geostatistical interpolation methods, Kriging and conditional simulation (Journel, A. G. and Ch. J. Huijbregts, 1978), are more accurate than other methods because statistical distribution and spatial continuity of data in different directions are taken into account. A true three-dimensional interpolation is more accurate than two-dimensional interpolation (conventional mapping) because it takes into account data and spatial continuity in all directions. Kriging is based on weighted linear combination of the measured data. The weighting is based on the spatial location of the data and the spatial continuity model - the variogram. Conditional simulation adds randomness to the kriging result so that the amount of variation matches to that indicated by the data.

To include seismic data in the gridding, first we make sure that seismic data is calibrated and transformed. Then a correlation coefficient is determined from the correlation between seismic and well data. Based on this correlation coefficient, we reduce the weight for the seismic data (soft data) relative to the well data (hard data), besides the geostatistical weighting based on spatial location. Near the wells, well data will have the controlling effect. Seismic data will have more and more weight as one gets farther from the wells. When the coefficient of correlation is one, seismic data is treated the same as well data. When the coefficient of correlation is zero, seismic data has no effect. Technique and Software Verification The geostatistical mapping was done on a PC with a Texaco developed software GRIDSTAT. All cross-sectional grids are of the same size: 184 columns by 180 rows. Using the given 46 impedance logs from the forward modeling, a gridded map of impedance log was generated by kriging. This puts three additional columns between the data traces. The result is compared to the original map to verify the validity of geostatistic technique and the software. Base Model A base model was built (Fig. 3) using the given 46 porosity logs (calculated from the given sonic logs,. and the kriging technique was again used. This will be used as a criterion to check the validity of our reservoir characterization results. The reason to use porosity instead of impedance as base model is because we are usually trying to model such reservoir properties as porosity either to evaluate reserve or input into reservoir simulation. Gridding without Seismic Data Five porosity logs were arbitrarily selected from the given data as the hard data at wells in our study. Assuming seismic data was not available, a cross-section was mapped with kriging the five logs. The result is in Figure 4. As expected, there is much less detail between the five wells compared to the base model. Gridding with Seismic Data The correlation coefficient between inverted impedance data and porosity logs at wells was calculated to be 0.67. With this correlation coefficient, the 46 inverted impedance traces (normalized to porosity) from synthetic seismic is kriged together with the five porosity logs. The results in Figure 5 clearly show more detail than the cross-section with 5 porosity logs only, but not as good as the base model. This is expected since some detailed information is lost during the convolution process to seismic from synthetic impedance logs and the deconvolution process to derive inversed impedance logs from seismic amplitude data. Some additional loss of information can be traced to the difference between impedance and porosity. Had we used impedance as the target instead of porosity, there would have been higher correlation and the result would have been more similar to the base model (assuming base model in impedance). However, we usually must obtain our final model in porosity instead of impedance.

Conclusions Based on the above examples, it is clear that a suitable integration of seismic and well data will definitely help to provide better reservoir characterizations. While the examples shown are 2D cross-sections, the methodology and software implementation is fully 3D. The main steps in our integration method include depth match, frequency match, calibration to reservoir property, and geostatistical mapping. Acknowledgment The author would like to thank the management of Texaco Inc. for permission to publish this work. The cooperation and valuable suggestions of our colleagues in Texaco EPTD and Texaco East Region are gratefully acknowledged. References Journel, A. G. and Ch. J. Huijbregts, Mining Geostatistics, Academic Press, 1978 Mandelbrot, B. B. and J. W. Van Ness, "Fractional Brownian Motions, Fractional Noises, and Applications", SIAM Review, Vol.10, No.4, Oct. 1968, pp.422-437 Zeng, Hongliu, 1994, Facies-guided 3-dimensional seismic modeling and reservoir characterization, phD. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 164 pp. Figures:

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