September 2003
Special Focus

Improvements in 4D seismic acquisition

Improving reservoir management is an ongoing challenge. 4D seismic is helping to meet this challenge in a growing number of cases. The technology has a multi-billion dollar potential value by increasing hydrocarbon recovery. However, to fulfill this potential, technical improvements are needed, as some recent failures have demonstrated. The technique is immature, and the industry’s appreciation and knowledge of the key issue of repeatability is limited, though rapidly evolving. Poor repeatability creates changes that are not related to the reservoir (i.e., artifacts) and are difficult to distinguish from true reservoir-induced changes in the seismic response. Repeatability – or lack thereof – will give a detection threshold on the minimum vertical fluid-front movements that can be monitored, on minimum saturation changes that can be observed and on how frequent repeat surveys can be made.

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