Oil & Natural Gas Projects
Exploration and Production Technologies
An Integrated Multi-Component Processing and Interpretation Framework for 3-D
Borehole Seismic Data
This project was funded through the Broad-Based Announcement DE-PS26-02NT41613,
Research Area No. 2: Subsurface Imaging (Advanced Diagnostics and Imaging Systems,
ADIS), issued onAugust 22, 2003. The objectives of Area 2 is to develop cutting-edge
technologies to better find and produce petroleum.
The goal of this project is to develop, build a prototype for, and test an efficient
framework for processing and interpreting multi-component 3-D vertical seismic
profiling (VSP) data.
Paulsson Geophysical Services
The product of this research will be a commercially available multi-component
3-D VSP software tool that can be readily used for field development and reservoir
The application of this processing and display software will lower the risk
of drilling infill wells and deepening and recompleting existing wells by improving
the understanding and delineation of reservoir properties. The software tool
will allow processing and display of high-resolution images that can be used
in the identification and subsequent production of bypassed oil and gas. The
information generated will enable effective, economic reservoir management to
increase recovery efficiency and can be used to outline drainage areas and identify
In oil and gas reservoirs, a large fraction of the total oil or gas volume may
be bypassed using conventional imaging techniques. To estimate reservoir properties
for field development and reservoir management, it is necessary to achieve greater
resolution than 3-D surface seismic data can provide. 3-D VSP seismology fills
the resolution and coverage gap between 3-D seismology that has lower resolution
and well-logging techniques that have high resolution but only measure near-wellbore
properties. Besides high resolution, VSP seismology has been proven to produce
the best multi-component recordings of any seismic technique. Seismic signal
component compressional (P) wave velocity information combined with shear (S)
wave information provide detailed information on reservoir properties such as
lithology, mechanical properties, pore volume, fracture volume, fracture directions,
fracture widths, and type of pore fluids.
Paulsson Geophysical is developing a full-featured, fast, interactive 3-D multi-component
processing and interpretation tool for VSP data. Existing pieces of processing
software are being combined with novel display capabilities and a framework
to perform complex processing tasks interwoven with the analysis and interpretation
of 3-D multi-component VSP data.
The software both processes and interprets VSP data using a 3-D graphical user
interface to drive the necessary processing and imaging algorithms. The software
is being built to handle large data sets containing at least 1,000 receiver
channels and several thousand source points. The software allows the use of
auxiliary information, including well logs, formation tops, seismic ray path
computations, and velocity models. The auxiliary information is combined with
data and processing results to enable interactive model changes and quality
control. The software runs on Linux as well as Windows XP operating systems.
An interactive 3-D display is being developed that can display data such as
well logs, P-S velocity model representations, rock properties, partially processed
multi-component 3-D VSP seismic data slices and volumes, and other critical
survey, geologic and field information.
The project has executed 4 of the 6 project phases. Phase 1 identified the
data obtained from the San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) borehole
to test the software being developed and generated synthetic 3-D borehole seismic
data in various velocity models. In Phase II, the 3-D, three-component (3-C)
display framework for the 3-D VSP data was designed and prototyped. Phase III
entailed the design and prototype communication framework for low latency and
high bandwidth. In Phase IV, the 3-D/3-C display framework interconnected with
the parallel computing environment was designed, and the prototype was built.
Current Status (August 2005)
The prototype software has been tested using 3-D fault zone data from the SAFOD
borehole. Interfaces of software libraries with newly designed 3-C displays
have been improved. The project is continuing to design, implement, and test
the basic data classes and software framework with emphasis on functionality
tests and usability enhancements. In Phase V, reliability, speed, and usage
tests on selected 3-D VSP data is to be conducted, and in Phase VI, the software
is to be documented.
Paulsson, B., Karrenbach, M., Milligan, P., Goertz, A., and Hardin, A., High-Resolution
3-D Seismic Imaging Using 3-C Data From Large Downhole Seismic Arrays, First
Break, V. 23, October 2004.
McGuire, D., Runyon, S., Williams, T., Paulsson, B., Goertz, A., and Karrenbach,
M., Gas Hydrate Exploration with 3-D VSP Technology, North Slope, Alaska, 74th
Ann. Internat. Mtg: Soc. Of Expl Geophys., 2004.
Karrenbach, et al., High-Resolution 3-D VSP Imaging, Seismic Reflection Workshop,
Seeheim, Germany, 2004.
Paulsson, B., Karrenbach, M., Goertz, A., and Milligan, P., High-Resolution
Fault Zone Monitoring and Imaging Using Long Borehole Arrays, American Geophysical
Union meeting, 2004.
Project Start: September 30, 2004
Project End: September 29, 2005
DOE Contribution: $1,032,980
Performer Contribution: $1,032,980 (50% of total)
NETL - Paul West (email@example.com or 918-699-2035
Paulsson - Martin Karrenbach (firstname.lastname@example.org or 562-697-9711)
This example of the software display shows a multi-well 3-D VSP image displayed
together with velocity model, well-log curves, well trajectories, and source
Comparison of a 3-D surface seismic image with a 3-D VSP image slice at the
same location. Note the increased resolution and detail of the 3-D VSP image.