Noise, sampling, and the Horn River Basin

Some highlights from day 1 of GeoCon11, the CSPG CSEG CWLS annual convention in Calgary.

Malcolm Lansley of Sercel, with Peter Maxwell of CGGVeritas, presented a fascinating story of a seismic receiver test in a Maginot Line bunker in the Swiss Alps. The goal was to find one of the quietest places on earth to measure the sensitivity to noise at very low frequencies. The result: if signal is poor then analog geophones outperform MEMS accelerometers in the low frequency band, but MEMS are better in high signal:noise situations (for example, if geological contrasts are strong).

Click for the reportWarren Walsh and his co-authors presented their work mapping gas in place for the entire Horn River Basin of northeast British Columbia, Canada. They used a stochastic approach to simulate both free gas (held in the pore space) and adsorbed gas (bound to clays and organic matter). The mean volume: 78 Tcf, approximately the same size as the Hugoton Natural Gas Area in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Their report (right) is online

RECON Petrotechnologies showed results from an interesting physical experiment to establish the importance of well-log sample rate in characterizing thin beds. They constructed a sandwich of gyprock, between slices of aluminium and magnesium, then pulled a logging tool through a hole in the middle of the sandwich. An accurate density measurement in a 42-cm thick slice of gyprock needed 66 samples per metre, much higher than the traditional 7 samples per metre, and double the so-called 'high resolution' rate of 33 samples per metre. Read their abstract

Carl Reine at Nexen presented Weighing in on seismic scale, exploring the power law relationship of fracture lengths in Horn River shales. He showed that the fracture system has no characteristic scale, and fractures are present at all lengths. Carl used two independent seismic techniques for statistically characterizing fracture lengths and azimuths, which he called direct and indirect. Direct fault picking was aided by coherency (a seismic attribute) and spectral decomposition; indirect fault picking used 3D computations of positive and negative curvature. Integrating these interpretations with borehole and microseismic data allowed him to completely characterize fractures in a reservoir model. (See our post about crossing scales in interpretation.)

Evan and Matt are tweeting from the event, along with some other attendees; follow the #geocon11 hashtag to get the latest.