This dissertation focuses on the link between seismic amplitudes and reservoir properties. Prediction of reservoir properties, such as sorting, sand/shale ratio, and cement-volume from seismic amplitudes improves by integrating knowledge from multiple disciplines. The key contribution of this dissertation is to improve the prediction of reservoir properties by integrating sequence stratigraphy and rock physics.
Sequence stratigraphy has been successfully used for qualitative interpretation of seismic amplitudes to predict reservoir properties. Rock physics modeling allows quantitative interpretation of seismic amplitudes. However, often there is uncertainty about selecting geologically appropriate rock physics model and its input parameters, away from the wells.
In the present dissertation, we exploit the predictive power of sequence stratigraphy to extract the spatial trends of sedimentological parameters that control seismic amplitudes. These spatial trends of sedimentological parameters can serve as valuable constraints in rock physics modeling, especially away from the wells. Consequently, rock physics modeling, integrated with the trends from sequence stratigraphy, become useful for interpreting observed seismic amplitudes away from the wells in terms of underlying sedimentological parameters. We illustrate this methodology using a comprehensive dataset from channelized turbidite systems, deposited in minibasin settings in the offshore Equatorial Guinea, West Africa.
First, we present a practical recipe for using closed-form expressions of effective medium models to predict seismic velocities in unconsolidated sandstones. We use an effective medium model that combines perfectly rough and smooth grains (the extended Walton model), and use that model to derive coordination number, porosity, and pressure relations for P and S wave velocities from experimental data. Our recipe provides reasonable fits to other experimental and borehole data, and specifically improves the predictions of shear wave velocities. In addition, we provide empirical relations on normal compaction depth trends of porosity, velocities, and VP/VS ratio for shale and clean sands in shallow, supra-salt sediments in the Gulf of Mexico.
Next, we identify probable spatial trends of sand/shale ratio and sorting as predicted by the conventional sequence stratigraphic model in minibasin settings (spill-and-fill model). These spatial trends are evaluated using well data from offshore West Africa, and the same well data are used to calibrate rock physics models (modified soft-sand model) that provide links between P-impedance and quartz/clay ratio, and sorting. The spatial increase in sand/shale ratio and sorting corresponds to an overall increase in P-impedance, and AVO intercept and gradient. The results are used as a guide to interpret sedimentological parameters from seismic attributes, away from the well locations.
We present a quantitative link between carbonate cement and seismic attributes by combining stratigraphie cycles and the rock physics model (modified differential effective medium model). The variation in carbonate cement volume in West Africa can be linked with two distinct stratigraphic cycles: the coarsening-upward cycles and the fining-upward cycles. Cemented sandstones associated with these cycles exhibit distinct signatures on P-impedance vs. porosity and AVO intercept vs. gradient crossplots. These observations are important for assessing reservoir properties in the West Africa as well as in other analogous depositional environments.
Finally, we investigate the relationship between seismic velocities and time temperature index (TTI) using basin and petroleum system modeling at Rio Muni basin, West Africa. We find that both VP and VS increase exponentially with TTI. The results can be applied to predict TTI, and thereby thermal maturity, from observed velocities.