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Gulf began to investigate 3-D seismic in the mid-1960s. During the late 1960s, modeling was used to simulate acquisition and processing. By the early 1970s, Gulf had completed its first offshore 3-D seismic project.
Some of the advantages 3-D seismic has over 2-D are the following. It can help with the refinement of structure and stratigraphic interpretation; it helps define paleogeology; it can reveal details that otherwise are not apparent; it can help define reservoir limits through improved interpretation of structure and hydrocarbon indicators; it is a means of obtaining subsurface control under surface obstructions, such as platforms, rigs, etc; it provides the opportunity to construct profiles in any direction desired; and it lends itself to interactive interpretation.
Most certainly, 3-D seismic should improve resolution. This, in turn, helps define the best location possible for both wildcat and development wells. Developing additional reserves with outpost wells and finding new reserves in untested fault blocks are also benefits of improved and detailed seismic control. Using 3-D provides a basis for making the development drilling program efficient (i.e., only drilling the wells needed to drain the reservoirs efficiently). For these reasons, the use of 3-D seismic can be a cost-effective way of finding and developing hydrocarbons.
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