Geophysics - Seismic Acquisition

4D Seismic for Reservoir Management



  Mr Ian Jack (Independent Consultant, United Kingdom)


  2 days


  Geophysics – Seismic Acquisition






  10 CPD points




Course description

This course is two days of intensive study of time-lapse seismic (4D) methodology. It is designed to appeal to a wide audience; most attendees are acquisition, processing, or interpretation geophysicists but a significant number are geologists, reservoir engineers and petrophysicists. The course will bring the participants up-to-date with the current state of the technology and will provide attendees with the knowledge they need in order to participate and make decisions on any aspect of 4D technology.


Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will understand the value of 4D information and will be able to commission, plan and interpret 4D surveys on land or marine.


Course outline

The course starts with a perspective on the development of 4D seismic from the 1980's to its present use in mature areas, and its strong linkages with Reservoir Engineering. It covers the basics of rock and fluid physics, and moves on to describe current best Industry practice. This includes the necessary feasibility studies and the technical and operational requirements for successful implementation of time-lapse technology using streamers, nodes, or permanent systems, whether for hydrocarbon extraction or for CO2injection. The economics and value of 4D are examined, together with Industry trends and today's research topics, since these will influence tomorrow's best practice. A representative range of case histories will be examined to illustrate the practical use of the technology

  • A brief History of Time-Lapse, 1980-2015, movers & shakers
    • What changes in a reservoir during production?
    • Primary effects
      • Pore pressure
      • Pore fluids
      • Temperature
    • Secondary effects
  • An introduction to the Reservoir Engineer
    • Geological scales and reservoir descriptions
    • Engineers’ data
    • Contribution of IOR methods and Simulator Models
  • Driving forces for 4D
    • The mystery of “Peak Oil”
    • Reserves and additions; energy forecasts
    • Recovery factors
    • A few words about gas
    • CO2 as a driving force for 4D seismic
  • Pore fluid properties in reservoirs
    • Which fluid properties do we need to examine
      • Gases
      • Oils
      • Brines
      • Fluid Mixtures
  • Rock properties & fluid effects in reservoirs
    • Porosity and Permeability
    • Velocities in porous rocks
    • Compressional waves, shear waves, and moduli
    • Velocity versus Porosity relationships
    • Velocity versus Stress
    • Pore pressure and confining pressure
    • Attenuation and Dispersion
    • Fluid Substitution
  • From Rocks & Fluids to Seismic and time-lapse Seismic, and Feasibility studies for 4D
    • Bulk density
    • Pressure Depletion
    • Bulk Stiffness
    • Feasibility Studies
    • Gassmann Modelling and Fluid Substitution
    • Moving into the seismic domain
    • Hard Rocks
    • CO2injection modelling
  • Acquisition strategies for 4D
    • Repeatability
    • Repeatability tests on a 3D volume
    • Streamer steering
    • Positioning issues on legacy surveys
    • Infill strategies
    • The physical environment
    • Stability of acquisition parameters
    • Imaging improvements — temporal bandwidth
    • Spatial bandwidth, multi-azimuth, coil shooting
    • Seabed options for 4D
      • Options for permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM)
      • 4D with nodes
      • Some PRM results
      • Decimation tests on a PRM system
    • 4D on land
    • Some pitfalls
  • Processing & Interpretation strategies
    • Simple subtraction and matching
    • Matching & cross-equalisation
    • Processing parameter sensitivities
    • Registration, large-scale warping
    • Processing for legacy data
    • Current practice
    • “4D noise” attenuation
    • Getting quantitative — 4D inversions, calibration, modelling
    • Compaction, geomechanical models & monitoring
    • Probabilistic Inversions
  • Additional & new technologies, trends, value
    • 4D with gravity, EM, Virtual sources, microseismicity
    • Shear wave 4D
    • Technology trends, new developments
    • Global acceptance of 4D
    • Value of 4D
  • Case histories & interpretations
    • Representative collection of case histories including:
      • Historical
      • Data Processing
      • 4D in Carbonates
      • Permanent systems
      • Interpretations (several)
      • CO2 storage


Participants' profile

The course is aimed principally at geoscientists who wish to be able to commission 4D projects or to work with them successfully. It will also be useful for reservoir engineers and petrophysicists and for those who need to steer the direction of seismic technology in their companies. Participants are not required to have a background in geophysics.



A scientific discipline. It is not necessary to have a detailed geophysical background.


About the instructor

Mr Ian Jack

Ian Jack is a physics honours graduate from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He began his geophysical career in 1968 by spending four years in the Middle East as an electronics field engineer in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan, and later as a seismic processor in Beirut, before moving to software development in Dallas, Texas. He joined the Technical Service Division of BP Exploration in London in 1978, and became manager of their worldwide geophysical operations in 1982. Other assignments included subsurface R&D manager, and eventually as BP's so-called “Distinguished Advisor” on geophysics, he was responsible for new technology and subsurface technology strategy during and subsequent to the Amoco and Arco acquisitions. He was the instigator of BP's first “Life of Field Seismic” project at Valhall in Norway. He has also campaigned for years for fundamental changes in land seismic systems (e.g. moving from cable systems to nodes) which are now beginning to take place. He retired from BP at the end of 2002.

Ian is an honorary member of SEG and is a member of EAGE and the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. He was Vice-President of the SEG in 1992-93 (the first European to hold this role). He has chaired the Advisory Committee of the EAGE and served as a member of the UK's Earth Science & Technology Board of NERC. He was the SEG's inaugural Distinguished Instructor in 1998 with the course entitled “Time Lapse Seismic in Reservoir Management” which was taught to over 2000 geoscientists worldwide during that year. He teaches updated versions of this course four or five times a year, including for the EAGE and SEG Continuing Education programs.

His interests are in most aspects of geophysics and he has contributed papers to SEG, EAGE, AAPG, and OTC on topics such as 4-D seismic, the downgoing vibroseis wavelet and marine seismic interference as well as several workshop and review papers. In “retirement”, in addition to his teaching assignments, he consults widely around the industry in (for example) reviews of major companies’ technology programs and as co-organiser of workshops. His relaxations (in addition to geophysics) include music, theatre, skiing, and mountain trekking.


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