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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 49, No. 8, April 2007. Pages 19-19.

Abstract: West Africa DHI’s: Pushing the Envelope


Alex Martinez, David McAdow, and Matthew Novak

Tertiary clastic sedimentary rocks (primarily slope shales and turbidite sandstones) in the deepwater Lower Congo Basin have acoustic rock properties that allow seismic data to exhibit Previous HitdirectNext Hit Previous HithydrocarbonNext Hit Previous HitindicatorsNext Hit (DHI’s). To date, DHI technology has been successfully used to help discover billions of barrels of Previous HithydrocarbonNext Hit in the basin.

Not all seismic anomalies are DHI’s and not all DHI’s are of equal quality. For this reason a DHI rating and risking method has been developed to aid data analysis and determine risk of leads showing seismic amplitude anomalies. The method involves comparing the observed seismic anomaly to expected seismic responses and to other known DHI’s for calibration. DHI attributes fall into general categories associated with the observed amplitude response and with conformance to structural and fluid contact reflections, but vary by other typically compaction-related rock properties. Seismic data quality and overlap between expected wet and Previous HithydrocarbonNext Hit reservoir responses are also key factors used in the rating and risking process. Integration and rationalization of the DHI risk with geologic risk assessment is a final, critical step to ensure plausibility and reasonableness of the interpretations.

Historically, dry holes and sub-economic Previous HithydrocarbonNext Hit accumulations have been associated with anomalies exhibiting only one or two DHI criteria. Those anomalies are now attributed to low-Previous HithydrocarbonTop saturation, anomalous shales or silts, very high porosity sands, or inadequate and/or substandard seismic data. Examples are presented to illustrate the techniques used to identify the spectrum of AVO classes and highlight the challenges in DHI prediction. Ultimately, our experience indicates that multiple DHI criteria (e.g., AVO, amplitude conformance, etc.) are associated with successful wells. Care should be taken to not technically rationalize the lack of these characteristics when fundamental rock physics suggests otherwise.

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