Monitoring of SAGD Process: Seismic Interpretation of Ray+Born Synthetic 4D Data

Abstract : The objective of this study is to evaluate which production information can be deduced from a 4D seismic survey during the Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) recovery process. Superimposed on reservoir heterogeneities of geological origin, many factors interact during thermal production of heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs, which complicate the interpretation of 4D seismic data: changes in oil viscosity, in fluid saturations, in pore pressure and so on. This study is based on the real Hangingstone field case of the McMurray formation in the Athabasca region (Canada). In previous works, an initial static model (geology, petroacoustic and geomechanical) has been constructed and a thermal production of heavy oil with two coupled fluid-flow and geomechanical models has been simulated. Seismic parameters (density, compression velocity and shear velocity) of the saturated rocks have then been computed from mechanical and reservoir parameters at several stages of the production. A repeated acquisition survey is modelled at different stages of SAGD production. This is performed using a 3D seismic modelling approach. To focus on the reflections generated within the reservoir zone, a target-oriented modelling is chosen. It is based on the ray+Born approach which permits to compute the P-wave elastic response by correctly handling the seismic amplitudes as a function of source-receiver offset. Real incoherent noise is added to the zero-phase synthetic data to produce a more realistic result. The noise-free and the noisy synthetic data are processed to get stacked and time migrated images. A simple processing workflow leads to image the steam chamber development, in particular its V-shape in radial section, and to observe time-lapse in the reservoir zone. An interpretation work is then carried out. Some seismic attributes like RMS values of amplitude changes between stages, energy, time differences of reservoir bottom between stages, etc. are computed from the synthetic (noise-free and noisy) seismic data. Some of these attributes prove to be robust to the noise and to show some production effect. Possible trends between these attributes and the modelled reservoir/geomechanical properties (lithofacies, pressure, temperature, steam saturation, etc.) are also evaluated. Finally, geobodies are extracted from the seismic attributes.
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Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2012, 67 (2), pp.263-288. 〈10.2516/ogst/2011168〉
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Caroline Joseph, Gisèle Etienne, Eric Forgues, Axelle Baroni, Gérard Renard, et al.. Monitoring of SAGD Process: Seismic Interpretation of Ray+Born Synthetic 4D Data. Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2012, 67 (2), pp.263-288. 〈10.2516/ogst/2011168〉. 〈hal-00735134〉

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