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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Indonesian Petroleum Association


29th Annual Convention Proceedings (Volume 1), 2003
Pages 1-4

What are Interpreters for? The Impact of Faster and More Objective Interpretation Systems

Martyn Millwood Hargrave, Andrew Deighan, Jamie Haynes


Since commercial 3D seismic data became widespread there has existed a need to speed up the mechanics of the seismic interpretation process by automation. This need is now more vital as the interpreter population decreases, as seismic datasets get larger, cycle time reduction yield greater economic returns, and, most importantly, as the degree of analysis, creativity and synthesis required per project increases.

Automation has been successful in horizon interpretation where a particular identified "horizon" can be parameterised and auto tracked. This is not particularly difficult since the earth tends to be horizontally layered and reflectors are relatively continuous events. A more difficult problem has been to automate the detection and interpretation of faults and related discontinuities for use in 3D earth modelling, simulation modelling and drilling planning. This paper discusses the problems of automating the fault picking process, which can take up to 70% of man time in some interpretation projects, and is one of the more laborious of processes. It shows the flexibility and richness of results gained using a combination of technologies derived from the engineering and medical imaging communities to automatically enhance, detect and analyse seismic scale faulting in 3D seismic volumes.

Finally the potential impact on interpreter man time and creative productivity will be summarised and the impact on interpretation work flow and business practice will be briefly reviewed.

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