Siliciclastic turbidite lobes and channels are known to exhibit varying degrees of architectural complexity. Understanding the elements that contribute to this complexity is the key to optimizing drilling targets, completions designs, and long-term production. Several methods for 3D reservoir modeling based on seismic and electromagnetic (EM) data are available that are often complemented with outcrop, core, and well-log data studies. This paper explores an ultradeep 3D EM inversion process during real-time drilling and how it can enhance the reservoir understanding beyond the existing approaches.

The new generation of ultradeep triaxial EM logging tools provides full-tensor multicomponent data with large depths of detection, allowing a range of geophysical inversion processing techniques to be implemented. A Gauss-Newton-based 3D inversion using semistructured meshing was adapted to support real-time inversion of ultradeep EM data while drilling. This 3D processing methodology provides more accurate imaging of the 3D architectural elements of the reservoir compared to earlier independent up-down, right-left imaging using 1D and 2D processing methods. This technology was trialed in multiple wells in the Heimdal Formation, a siliciclastic Palaeocene reservoir in the North Sea. The Heimdal Formation sandstones are generally considered to be of excellent reservoir quality, deposited through many turbiditic pulses of variable energy. The presence of thin intra-reservoir shales, fine-grained sands, heterolithic zones, and calcite-cemented intervals adds architectural complexity to the reservoir and, subsequently, impacts the fluid flow within the sands. These features are responsible for heterogeneities that create tortuosity in the reservoir. When combined with more than a decade of production, they have caused significant localized movement of oil-water and gas-oil contacts.

Ultradeep 3D EM measurements have a sensitivity to both rock and fluid properties within the EM field volume. They can, therefore, be applied to mapping both the internal reservoir structure and the oil-water contacts in the field. The enhanced imaging provided by the 3D inversion technology has allowed the interpretation of what appears to be multiple compensationally stacked lobes within a cross-axial amalgamated reservoir section. Accurate imaging of these elements has provided strong evidence of this depositional mechanism for the first time and added structural control in an area with little or no seismic signal.
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Supriya Sinha, Karol Riofrio, Arthur Walmsley, Nigel Clegg, Stig Sviland-Østre, Nicolas Gueze
Halliburton, Aker BP