Processing and Interpretation of Time-Lapse Seismic Data from a Heavy Oil Field, Alberta, Canada

Byron Matthew Kelly


The monitoring of a SAGD heavy oil reservoir is commonly executed through time-lapse 3D seismic surveying, focused on identifying areas of steam stimulation by tracking the movement of a steam front, and identifying areas of bypassed reserves. In this thesis, we processed and interpreted a 4D - 3C seismic dataset, identified time-lapse amplitude anomalies and isochron time-delays associated with the injection of high volumes of steam into a McMurray Formation reservoir. Through processing, and the application of a novel calibration procedure, non-production related differences between the baseline and monitor seismic surveys were minimized. Production-related differences were analyzed through a variety of geophysical techniques, and were projected into a map display to delineate the spatial position of the reservoir steam zones. It was interpreted that the observed amplitude anomalies corresponded to steam injection, while concurrent time-delays represent reservoir heating above pre-injection ambient temperatures.

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