Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2015-2016 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Multi-Attribute Rotation Scheme (MARS) – A tool for reservoir property prediction from seismic inversion attributes.

Pedro Alvarez (RSI) & Francisco Bolivar (RSI)


The multi-attribute rotation scheme (MARS) is a methodology that uses a numerical solution to estimate a transform to predict petrophysical properties from elastic attributes.  This is achieved by estimating a new attribute in the direction of maximum change of a target property in an n-dimensional Euclidean space formed by n-number of attributes, and subsequent scaling of this attribute to the target unit properties. The transform is computed from well-log-derived elastic attributes and petrophysical properties, and posteriorly applied to seismically-derived elastic attributes.  Such transforms can be used to estimate reservoir property volumes for reservoir characterization and delineation in exploration and production settings, and to estimate secondary variables in geostatistical workflows for static model generation and reserve estimation.  To illustrate the methodology, MARS was applied to estimate a transform to predict water saturation and total porosity from elastic attributes in a well located in the Barents Sea, as well as, to estimate a water saturation volume in a mud-rich turbidite gas reservoir located onshore Colombia.



Pedro Alvarez holds a B.S. degree in Geophysical Engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela (2002), ranking first in his class. He holds an M.S. degree in Petroleum Geophysics, from Instituto Superior de la Energia/Heriot-Watt University (2007). He worked for eight year as Seismic Interpreter and Reservoir Geophysicist for PDVSA focusing in structural and quantitative seismic interpretation of clastic and carbonate reservoirs. Since 2012 he has been working for RSI, where he currently has the position of Team Lead/Sr. QI Geoscientist. In this position his main responsibility is the quantitative interpretation of post-stack, AVO, seismic inversion and CSEM attributes using a geological, geostatistical and rock physics framework. He has experience working in projects from Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Australia, Falkland Island, Middle-East and Norway. He is member of the SEG, AAPG and EAGE.


November President’s Letter

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Hello Everybody, With the outside temperatures becoming bearable, the need for mowing the lawn each week slowing down, the first part of the Louisiana elections and the GCAGS, SEG, and GSA meetings behind us (and at the same time coming up – see below), and close to the end of yet another uneventful hurricane season in the Gulf – it seems like a great winter is ahead of us!


Our October luncheon speaker, Morgan Brown from Tenax Geoscience, drew a large crowd talking about seismic velocity anisotropy in real rocks and how taking anisotropy into account – although mathematically more challenging – will yield more accurate images and seismic attributes. Just like the first talk in our season by SEG Honorary Lecturer Dan Whitmore, this was a very well delivered and received talk. Now we are looking forward to Pedro Alvarez from Rock Solid Images to enlightening us about MARS, a tool for reservoir property prediction, with some theory and two real-life example to illustrate the method.


I just made travel arrangements to attend the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union December 14-18 in San Francisco, the biggest meeting in the Earth and Space Sciences with nearly 24,000 attendees expected. It is very exciting because it brings together the entire Earth and space sciences community for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. I know that I’ll return inspired to UL with knowledge and ideas I can’t get anywhere else, hoping that I can find the time and energy to turn the ideas into action – considering the many hats that I am wearing and the commitments I already have.


In the past, our society has suffered from the lack of volunteers interested in serving on the board and making SWGLS happen. We have turned this around last year and invigorated the active participation in our society. However, we need to keep the momentum up and – as always – we are now actively looking for new board members for the 2016/2017 season.


In closing I would like to thank Freeport McMoRan again for sponsoring our UL geology students in October. They are always hungry for good food and a good talk. See you at the meeting!




Monday, September 28th, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2015-2016 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Opening the Black Box of Anisotropic Seismic Processing

Dr. Morgan Brown

Tenax Geoscience


Seismic velocity anisotropy (simply “anisotropy” for short) is ubiquitous in real rocks.  Finally, modern seismic surveys have the necessary sampling to resolve anisotropic earth models, which in turn yield more accurate images and seismic attributes.  Unfortunately, the “over-mathematization” of anisotropy concepts leaves the average geophysicist without an intuitive grasp of their importance for real-world prospecting. In this presentation, I seek to arm the geophysicist with enough basic anisotropy IQ to confidently take advantage of the potentially powerful anisotropic imaging and analysis products available on the marketplace…as well as avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions.   I first illustrate basic anisotropy concepts in a “math-lite” fashion, then describe the many ways in which (ignored) anisotropy can degrade seismic imaging and interpretation.  Finally, I provide a realistic framework for assessing the applicability of azimuthal anisotropy to infer natural fractures.



Dr. Morgan Brown holds degrees in applied mathematics (BA, 1997) from Rice University and in geophysics (PhD, 2004) from Stanford University.  He worked in geophysical R&D at Hess Oil and 3DGeo, before joining Joe Higginbotham at Wave Imaging Technology. He served as CEO from 2008 to the company’s sale in 2013 to GeoCenter.  In 2014, Dr. Brown formed Tenax Geoscience, a geoscience consultancy and specialty seismic processing company.


September 2015 SWLGS Newletter

Friday, September 4th, 2015
The September newsletter is attached.    Hope to see you all next Tuesday for SEG Honorary Lecturer Dan Whitmore’s presentation at our 1st luncheon meeting of the year.
Have a great holiday weekend!

Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2015-2016 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

SEG 2015 North America Honorary Lecturer

Concepts and applications of imaging with multiples and primaries

By: Dan Whitmore Petroleum



The goal of seismic acquisition and processing is to create a well-sampled image of the subsurface. Broadband acquisition has expanded the useable low and high frequencies of the seismic signal. Multistreamer acquisition provides a much greater receiver sampling. Wide- and full-azimuth acquisition and longer offsets have improved the azimuthal and angular illumination. The increased receiver coverage allows for a more complete sampling of the total wavefield. Multicomponent sensor technology both provides broadband acquisition and allows for separation of the downgoing and upgoing wavefields at the receivers,

which subsequently can be used in imaging. Alternatively, there has been an increase in the use of ocean- bottom seismic, where the receiver sampling is relatively sparse, but the source sampling is typically dense. This presentation discusses imaging methods that take advantage of these advances in acquisition.

There is an array of imaging methods to choose from, including (1) fast beam methods used in model building, (2) Kirchhoff methods to address high-resolution imaging, (3) wavefield depth extrapolation and migration (WEM) used in more complex media, (4) reverse time migration (RTM) for complex media and arbitrary dip.

This talk gives an overview of the principles and applications of RTM and WEM, which employ wavefield propagation of incident and reflected wavefields as part of their imaging process. It focuses on the combined use of single and higher order scattered wavefields, where the downgoing and upgoing wavefields can be used to construct subsurface images using both multiples and primaries.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  1. (1)  Prerequisites of processing before imaging, including designature, deghosting, wavefield separation, and possibly surface-related multiple estimation
  2. (2)  WEM and RTM imaging methods, including discussions on wavefield extrapolation, imaging conditions, and subsurface angle decompositions
  3. (3)  Imaging of primary and secondary (multiple) reflections using upgoing and downgoing separated wavefields. Also included is the estimation of surface-related multiple noise and subtraction in the image space.
  4. (4)  Beyond first-order imaging, including a discussion of trends in using inversion to achieve full- wavefield imaging

A number of examples will be shown, including:
(1) Imaging of primaries and multiples in deepwater and wide azimuth scenarios
(2) High-resolution imaging of primaries and multiples in shallow-water scenarios
(3) Imaging of ocean-bottom seismic, comparing the imaged upgoing primaries, mirror images, and full

wavefield images using multiples

Speaker Bio:

Dan Whitmore received a Ph.D. in geophysics in 1995 at the University of Tulsa for his research into the methods for plane wave imaging. He has 40 years of experience in geophysical research and applications in the areas of seismic modeling, processing, velocity estimation, multicomponent imaging and 3D imaging. He served as an individual contributor, mentor, instructor, consultant, and leader in seismic imaging technologies at Amoco, ConocoPhillips, and currently for Petroleum Geo-Services.

He joined Amoco Research in 1974 and began working in the pioneering group that developed finite difference wavefield modeling. He developed one of the earliest implementations of reverse time migration (RTM) in 1979 and demonstrated the ability of RTM to image arbitrary subsurface complexity and image data beyond 90 dip. In 2011 he received the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Reginald Fesseden Award for the development of RTM.

Upon joining ConocoPhillips in 2001, Dan achieved the rank of geoscience fellow. He was an advisor in 3D imaging, 3D plane wave migration, and 3D tomographic velocity estimation. He served as the team leader of the Elastic Wave Technology project with specific emphasis on joint PP-PS imaging of North Sea reservoirs and providing technical input to the planning for a Life of Fields permanent monitoring system at Ekofisk Field.

He joined Petroleum Geo-Services in 2009 and is presently a geophysical advisor in the depth imaging department, providing technical guidance and depth-imaging support in the application of 3D RTM to wide- and full-azimuth data.

Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2014-2015 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Subduction geometry of the Yakutat Terrane, SE Alaska

By: Dr. Mark Bauer


The Pacific Plate presently moves northwards relative to North America. The movement produces a convergent boundary in central and western Alaska with a prominent trench, Wadati-Benioff zone, and volcanic arc, in addition to a transform boundary along western North America. All of the features associated with the subduction zone stop abruptly near Prince William Sound at the edge of the Yakutat Block displaced terrane. This produces a gap of about 300 km between the strike-slip fault system and the subduction zone. Determining the geometry of the plate boundary in that gap is crucial to understanding the tectonics of the region. We used receiver-function based seismic imaging to determine the geometry of the Yakutat Block in the subsurface. We present these results as animations that depict both the migrated seismic data and propose a subsurface model of the subduction zone. We also show that the lack of a Wadati-Benioff zone and volcanic arc features can be accounted for by the improved understanding of Yakutat subduction.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Mark Bauer holds B.S. (Physics) and a Ph.D. (Geological Sciences) from Indiana University (IU). Dr. Bauer’s doctoral research focused on using innovative wavefield techniques to image the crustal-scale tectonics of the subducting Yakutat Block of SE Alaska.  He spent two field summers deploying seismic monitoring stations in Alaska for the Saint Elias Erosion-Tectonics Project (STEEP). Using data collected by the STEEP seismic network, he used an innovative wavefield imaging technique, informed by calculated receiver functions, to determine the geometry of the subducting Yakutat Block. He also carried out thermal modeling to interpret aspects of the seismic image in the context of regional tectonics. These results were published in the December 2014 issue of Geosphere. While at IU, Dr. Bauer also conducted near-surface archaeological surveys in Greece using ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to identify potential cultural resources. Dr. Bauer worked in exploration and asset development as a geophysicist at Noble Energy. At Noble, his work included seismic tomography for Africa exploration prospects and the development of the ~30 Tcf Leviathan gas field in Israel.


Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2014-2015 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Recent Advances in Pore Pressure Prediction in Complex Geologic Environments

Dr. Alan R. Huffman SIGMA3

Presentation Abstract:

Pre-drill pressure prediction using geophysical data and methods has historically been done using very simple models and has been restricted by overly simplistic estimates of the Earth’s velocity field. Geopressure prediction techniques have started incorporating more sophisticated velocity methods such as AVO-based phase mismatch algorithms, tomography and pre-stack inversion. These technologies allow the geophysicist to obtain higher resolution estimates of the velocity field in the subsurface that can significantly improve the results of pressure prediction. These technologies permit more robust analysis of P-wave velocities in the presence of contamination from hydrocarbon effects and non-clastic rocks that have been a problem in the past.

In recent years, methods have been developed to enable robust pressure prediction in the presence of multiple pressure mechanisms including undercompaction, unloading processes (secondary pressure mechanisms) and at great depth, the onset of secondary chemical compaction. These models utilize geological and geophysical information to constrain the calibration models and the depths at which they must be applied to develop a multi- layer pressure calibration model that will accurately predict pressures for prospect-level analysis and pre-drill prediction. These models are then integrated with the velocity field and the geological and geophysical information to predict pore pressures and fracture pressures at greater depths than have been previously feasible. This methodology has been tested in multiple basins and has been proven to be effective in helping drilling engineers improve well performance through more effective mud and casing program designs that significantly reduces well costs and rig time.

Recent application of elastic and acoustic inversion in complex carbonate environments have also proven effective in predicting pressures in environments where the shales can be separated from the carbonates. The approach requires that the inverted data be decomposed into the shale and carbonate velocity trends to allow the shales to be used for effective stress prediction while the complete velocity field is used for time-depth conversion. These studies have revealed that pore pressure prediction from mixed lithology (carbonate and shale) environments is feasible using advanced inversion methods. Successful pressure prediction in this type of geology requires seismic data that is of sufficient quality to enable a robust acoustic and/or elastic inversion to be performed that can separate the shale velocities for effective stress calculation, and perform time-depth conversion from the complete velocity field If successful, the velocities for the carbonate rocks in the inversion can also be used with offset well control to calibrate reservoir quality, although this requires interpretation of lithology which can be ambiguous when the carbonates have high porosities and low velocities that approach the shale values. As the amount of shale present in the geologic section becomes smaller, the ability to predict pressures decreases. The presence of marls also presents a problem because the carbonate material within the shale suppresses the sensitivity of the shale velocity to pore pressure.

The traditional velocity-based method and the advanced inversion method will both be demonstrated with real case histories in several diverse geologic environments including an unconventional reservoir case and a complex carbonate case.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Alan R. Huffman Ph.D., is a Consulting Partner at Sigma Cubed Inc. (SIGMA3), most recently serving as Chief Technology Officer. He has more than 34 years of geosciences expertise and is often asked to lead workshops and to speak on industry technology and business trends. Prior to the SIGMA3 acquisition, Alan held the position of Chairman & CEO of Fusion Petroleum Technologies Inc. (FPTI) and was responsible for the strategic growth and expansion of the enterprise since 2003. He was the primary architect of Fusion’s rapid growth from a small consulting practice to a global business enterprise with over 300 clients and offices in multiple countries.

From 1997-2002, Alan was Manager of The Seismic Imaging Technology Center (SITC) with Conoco. In this role, he managed the geophysical technology division of Conoco, with responsibility for worldwide technology development and technical services. From 1990 to 1997, Alan was employed by Exxon Corporation, where he worked as a technology specialist on exploration and production projects in The United States, West Africa and The Far East, and was also actively involved in technology and software development.

Alan is a recognized industry expert in the fields of geopressure prediction, shallow hazards prediction, direct detection of hydrocarbons and exploration risking. He is active in industry and professional affairs, having chaired numerous technical conferences and having served on organizing committees for the SEG, AADE, AAPG and SPE. He was the recipient of the 2004 Robert H. Dott Sr. Memorial Award from The AAPG for the publication of AAPG Memoir 76, and also received the 2002 Best Paper Award from The SEG. Alan has published numerous papers in refereed journals and articles in international publications, and 40 abstracts. He has 9 U.S. patents in the field of geophysics.

Alan received a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Franklin & Marshall College in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Texas A&M University in 1990. In 1986-87, he was privileged to perform the seismic hazard analysis for the successful proposal for the Superconducting Supercollider in Waxahachie, Texas. In 1989-1990, he served as Science Manager of DOSECC, the U.S. Continental Drilling Program. Alan was also the Lyssa & Cyril Wagner Professor of Geology and Geophysics in the School of Geology and Geophysics at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK in 2003 and 2004.

2015 SWLGS Golf Tournament and Crawfish Boil

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Members and friends of SWLGS, the annual crawfish boil and golf tournament will be on Thursday and Friday, May 22nd and 23rd.  The crawfish boil will be at the Farm d’Allie Golf Course in Carencro and the crawfish boil at the American Legion Hall on Surrey Street in Lafayette.  Attached, you will find two announcments; one soliciting sponserships and one for golf tournament registration.  We hope that you reserve these dates and join the festivities!

Technical Meeting and Luncheon: Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2014-2015 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  

Detecting hydrocarbon expulsion from source rock in seismic data: case studies from offshore, Namibia and Gulf of Mexico shelf

By: David Connolly, dGB Earth Sciences


Many Tertiary, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic petroleum systems are dominated by vertical hydrocarbon migration from deep thermally mature source rocks. On seismic data the vertical migration paths are generally recognized as vertically aligned zones of chaotic often low amplitude reflectivity. This seismic character is due to two major causes: 1) scattering of the seismic signal due to low saturation gas in the sediment; 2) fracturing, related to vertical migration. This vertical hydrocarbon migration is variously described as gas chimneys or gas clouds. However, in many basins it can be very widespread, and originate from known or suspected source rocks. Evidence of this vertical hydrocarbon migration is often overlooked in the seismic record for a number of reasons. One, hydrocarbon migration often occurs in the deep over- pressured interval below major producing reservoirs. Two, hydrocarbon migration often occurs in shale prone intervals which are poorly imaged due to low acoustic impedance contrasts. Three, migration is often focused on structural highs related to diapiric salt or shale, which is also poorly imaged. Lastly, hydrocarbon migration largely occurs in intervals with little well penetration to confirm their presence.

Because of the diffuse nature of these hydrocarbon migration pathways, they are difficult to map in three dimensions. To address this issue, a method has been developed to detect these petroleum migration pathways in 3D seismic data, to map their distribution and to allow them to be visualized in three dimensions. The method involves an interpreter picking examples of obvious vertical hydrocarbon migration (gas chimneys) in normally processed seismic data. A set of seismic attributes is chosen, which highlight the feature. Then a neural network is applied to the seismic volume to create a “chimney probability volume” to highlight possible hydrocarbon migration pathways, which are similar to the picked examples in seismic character. Not all vertically aligned, low amplitude, chaotic seismic reflectors represent hydrocarbon migration. Therefore, the subjective selection of training locations and the resulting neural network predictions are validated by objective criteria before the results are used in geological applications. Once we are able to visualize these chimneys in either 2D or 3D seismic data, we can then potentially determine from which interval or intervals, they originate (potential source rocks). Which source rock is providing charge to a reservoir can have important implications for determining whether the reservoir will produce oil or gas.

Case studies will be shown from offshore, Namibia, where hydrocarbons expelled from a Cenomanian oil prone source rock may be providing hydrocarbon charge to Upper Cretaceous canyon head reservoirs. We will also show an example from the Texas Gulf of Mexico shelf, where we can demonstrate expulsion from the Eocene gas-prone source rock and vertical migration into shallow Miocene gas bearing reservoirs. We will also show a case study from Grand Bay Field where chimney results indicate reservoirs are being charged by both Eocene gas-prone source and deeper Jurassic oil- prone source. Additional examples from offshore, Louisiana will also be shown.


Speaker Bio

David Connolly is dGB Earth Science’s Chief Geologist. He has over 30 years of industry experience in various aspects of petroleum geology and geophysics. He began his career with Analysts / Schlumberger in Core Analysis in Lafayette. He worked for Getty / Texaco from 1981-2001 as a Petroleum Geoscientist in a variety of international and national exploration assignments. He has been with dGB since 2001. He is co-editor for the SEG/AAPG Geophysical Developments #16, Hydrocarbon Seepage: From Source to Surface. He has been one of the main architects of the “Chimney Catalogue” which documents the relationship between chimneys and seal/charge risk for over 150 fields and dry holes. His paper Detecting hydrocarbon expulsion from source rock in seismic data; Case studies from offshore, Namibia and Gulf of Mexico shelf, presented at the 2014 SEG Annual Meeting, was honored as a top paper. He graduated from Washington & Lee University with a B. A. in Geology.


Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Where: The Petroleum Club of Lafayette

When: 11:30am

Lunch: $20.00 for members ** Be Sure to Bring Your 2014-2015 Membership Dues!**

Luncheon Talks:  



By: Tad Smith


The conditioning and analysis of log data for quantitative seismic interpretation is often simply categorized as “rock physics.”  Unfortunately, rock physics workflows often overlook or oversimplify the proper editing and interpretation of log data, the result of which can be unrealistic expectations and interpretations of seismic amplitude responses.  The more encompassing phrase “seismic petrophysics” better describes the necessary linkage between petrophysics and rock physics.  Seismic petrophysics not only includes rock physics, but also includes the proper conditioning and interpretation of log data that should occur prior to the application of rock physics and seismic models.  This is especially true in conditioning log data for shear-wave velocity estimation, fluid substitution calculations, and AVO modeling.

This talk will focus on the important role of “seismic petrophysics” in the quest to extract additional information from subtle seismic responses.  Topics covered will include various aspects of log editing, petrophysical interpretation (including integration of other data sources- core, fluids, pressures, etc.), and some common pitfalls associated with the “workhorses” of rock physics (invasion corrections, shear velocity estimation, and elements of fluid substitution).   It is important to recognize that log data should not simply be recomputed to fit prior expectations as defined by a rock physics model.  Instead, rock physics models should be used as templates, which allow the interpreter to better understand the underlying physics of observed log responses and how they are governed by local petrophysical properties. Case studies will be used to reinforce critical concepts.


Tad Smith manages the Geoscience group within the Exploration and Production Technology Group at Apache Corporation.  Prior to joining Apache, Tad held a variety of positions as a geologist and petrophysicist at various companies, including Amoco, BP, Newfield Exploration, VeritasDGC, CGGVeritas, and ConocoPhillips.  In 1995 – 1996, he participated in the Amoco Petrophysics Training program, where he developed a keen interest in petrophysics and seismic rock properties (“seismic petrophysics”).  Since then he has been actively engaged in the process of integrating petrophysical data into geophysical work-flows.  In 2011 he was the North American Honorary Lecturer for the SEG, with the topic of his tour being “Seismic Petrophysics”.  Tad was president of the Geophysical Society of Houston during the 2013-2014 term, and is currently the immediate past president.  From 2010 – 2014 he served on the editorial board for The Leading Edge, and served as the Board chair during the 2013-2014 term.  Tad has a PhD in geology from Texas A&M University, and is a member of AAPG, SEG, SPWLA, SPE, GSH, and the HGS.  When he’s not working on interesting petrophysical problems, he enjoys time with his wife and son, riding bikes, spending time with good friends, and listening to good music.