Reservoir Geophysics: Applications

Instructor: William Abriel
Date: Nov. 6 - Nov. 7, 2017
Duration: 2 days
Members (early bird/price): CAD$ 800/1000 (plus GST)
Non-members (early bird/price): CAD$ 900/1100  (plus GST)
Location: TBA
Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm


The primary attendees considered for this course are geophysicists of all backgrounds who are or will be supporting delineation, development and/or production of oil and gas fields. This includes interpreters, processors, researchers and service employees. The course is predominantly conceptual and graphical showing use by example, and no theoretical background in geophysics is required. Therefore, the course is also highly applicable to geologists, engineers, and managers engaged in reservoir management of oil and gas field and who use, or need to use, geophysics.

Course Description

Objective: The objective of the course is to demonstrate how and why geophysics adds value in reservoir management using examples from multiple geological environments (deepwater turbidites, onshore fluvial, near shore deltaics, carbonates). The course is designed to examine and illustrate the dependencies of geology and engineering data on geophysical applications during reservoir management and to expose participants to the variety of geophysical tools used in reservoir work. The participants will become familiar with the application and value of geophysics for users (customers) as well as the inherent risks and uncertainties.

Organization and materials: The material is organized into 6 lectures and 2 student problems for a total of 6 hours and 30 minutes.

  • The first lecture introduces the life cycle of reservoir management, what economic drivers are important in each cycle and how geophysics adds value. This includes concepts of uncertainty and value of information (VOI) calculation.
  • This is followed by a lecture on the role of specific geophysical applications in discovery and delineation including the introduction of key well information, geological facies modeling and well ties. A case history is presented showing the difference between 2D and 3D AVO for delineating an oil discovery.
  • The third section is a student hands-on problem for choosing well locations for delineating a deep water sub-salt discovery. Post-stack and pre-stack 3D seismic data are included. The actual delineation results are shown.
  • The following section is presented on the role of geophysics in development. This concentrates on the value of seismic attributes (inversion, spectral decomposition, quadrature, …) showing their application to reservoir development projects.
  • The fifth section covers production and the application of geophysics. This includes seismic response to field production, a work flow for 4D, and reservoir monitoring case histories.
  • This is followed by a second student problem of a continental shelf project. The problem is presented with production drilling history and an initial 3D survey showing production effects in an oil reservoir. The students are asked to locate infill wells. Results are shown including a second time-lapse 3D survey and actual infill results.
  • The seventh section is a description of reservoir geophysics in heavy oil environments.  Production problems unique to heavy oil are discussed along with geophysical technologies to address them, including time-lapse seismic, cross-well seismic, and cross-well electromagnetics.
  • The eighth section covers reservoir geophysics in carbonates. This includes reflection systems in carbonate facies, property estimation of carbonate reservoirs from seismic data. Case histories are presented including 4D reservoir monitoring of CO2 injection.
  • The final section is an overview of geophysics in unconventional (tight) reservoirs. The geology of unconventionals is discussed with respect to the critical production parameters of interest to engineers (e.g. brittleness and TOC). Geophysical concepts and techniques are described along with case histories.


William L. (Bill) Abriel is the president of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) which has 27,000 members in 125 countries world-wide. Bill worked for 38 years at Chevron in the international application of new technology to active projects. Examples are the industry’s first deployment of an integrated team of geology, geophysics and engineering for production management, and Chevron’s commercial development and deployment of subsalt seismic processing and interpretation in the Gulf Mexico. Bill has been the principle geophysicist for Chevron in many geological areas with the responsibility to advance technology, integrate business results and negotiate with partners and governments. His experience extends to managing projects in the Gulf of Mexico, US Appalachians, US rift basins, West Texas, California offshore, Venezuela, Brazil, North Sea, Black Sea, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, China, Offshore Siberia and Australia. During this time Bill, authored many articles and chapters in SEG and AAPG publications, organized technical conferences and spoke in many venues about the integrated business use of applied geophysics.

As a strong advocate of professional societies, Abriel has participated in a variety of SEG activities since helping found the Penn State SEG chapter at university in 1977. He has been an assistant editor for GEOPHYSICS, TLE and INTERPRETATION, served on numerous SEG committees, including Development, Membership, Research, Global Affairs, and Distinguished Lecturer, was the SEG Spring Distinguished Lecturer in 2004, and the SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor in 2008. Abriel is a founder and twice board chair of a non-profit research company, the SEG Advanced Modeling Corporation (SEAM). He was awarded SEG life membership in 2007. One of his present projects is aimed toward developing a full portfolio of career management opportunities for geophysicists that goes well beyond college support. This includes programs to provide experiential learning to fill the gap in geoscientist’s careers between graduation and the status of fully qualified professional valued in the job market.