Deepwater Seismic Interpretation

This course addresses the problem of accurate seismic interpretation in deep-water and the delicate construction of seismic maps in the deep-water realm. It is intended to all petroleum professionals involved in exploration and production, geophysicists, geologists, rock physicists, reservoir engineers and drilling engineers.

Seismic interpretation is covered with a series of practical examples that focuses on the deepwater realm, with emphasis on proximal, intermediate and distal marine reservoirs. Acquisition and processing of 2D and 3D data is also discussed in what concerns the practical use of the rather extensive growing database libraries in deepwater.

The distinct data challenges in deepwater are examined in detail so that it would lead to practical problem of drilling locations and the finding and development of deepwater deposits.. Issues in the drilling of deep-water wells such as thickness of the overburden, pore-pressure prediction and geo-steering, are discussed. Practical workshops involve understanding of the main techniques in the seismic section interpretation and in precise structural contouring mapping in deep-water, with focus on the continental slope bathymetry correction and its effect upon time and depth maps. Handling of seismic velocities, depth conversion, comparisons of 2D vs. 3D data, and the principles of 4D and of 4C seismology are also briefly discussed. Time-slice of 3D datasets, seismic interpretation of attributes of amplitude and phase are applied to the mapping exercises for the purpose of better reservoir characterization and possible occurrence of fluid effects.

COURSE OBJECTIVES are the practical understanding of aspects concerning the precise deep-water seismic interpretation fundamental for successfully drilling oil and gas wells in the deep-water realm. Correct estimates of seismic velocities and map contouring techniques in deep-water are essential for achieving ideal vertical and deviated well locations and to the geo-steering of horizontal wells upon reservoir development.

The course covers the essentials of offshore seismic data from acquisition to processing and interpretation. To this effect it examines seismic tape formats, data libraries, design of seismic proprietary and spec surveys, data processing workflows in deepwater and the utilization of interpretation software in workstations Methodologies for correct interpretation of seismic sections and the techniques applied in the architecture details of map contouring are discussed in connection with suites of exercises that apply these techniques in offshore data of passive and compressive continental margins, covering the outer shelf, slope, rise and basin.

Focus is given to the interpretation of deep-water reservoirs, mainly proximal, intermediate and distal turbidites. The main differences between hand-drawn interpretation and computer workstation mapping are discussed so that the principles of interpretation may be utilized to quality control computer section interpretation and computer mapping. This is particularly important in deep-water due to the effect of bathymetry over contouring and depth conversion.

Comparisons between hand contouring and computer contouring are carried out for the purpose of understanding the subtleties of subjective hand contouring versus grid algorithm contouring. Special emphasis is therefore given to hand contouring map interpretation comparisons with modern workstation software grid interpretation mapping for 2D and 3D data sets. Comparative interpretation of the main prospective deep-water regions of the world such as Gulf of Mexico, Offshore Brazil, West Africa, North Sea and Southeast Asia are effected with suite of comprehensive exercises covering structural and stratigraphic interpretation and the use of seismic attributes. Rift and compressional mapping exercises cover normal and reverse faults handling, the understanding of paleo-lows and paleo-highs and flattening of bathymetry for re-construction of basin tectonism. Handling of seismic velocities in deep-water are made with specific exercises of depth conversion. Attendees are daily given hands-on mapping problems and exercises that cover geophysical exploration and development mapping in deep-water. Salt tectonics models over distinct basins are examined and comparisons made for basin architectures and hydrocarbon plays of autochthonous salt vs allochtonous salt.


Deep-Water Seismology.

Seismic Interpretation Concepts.

History of the Seismic Reflection Method.

Reflection & Refraction, Wave Equations, Poisson’s Ratio. Wavelets, Convolution, Synthetic Seismograms.

Amplitude and Phase Spectrum - Deconvolution.

Seismic Acquisition and Processing Workflows.

Deep-Water Petroleum Geology Provinces and World Distribution of Deep-Water Basins.

Exploration and Production in Deep-Water.

Deep-Water Seismic Reflection Section Parameters 2D and 3D.

Un-migrated and Migrated Deep-water Seismic Sections and Dip and Strike Sections in the Deep-water Realm.

Seismic Ties, Time Maps. Four-Way Dip Closures, Fault Closures- Exercises.

Structural Interpretation in Deep-Water - Examples.

Seismic Stratigraphic Mapping in Deep and Ultra deep-water. Onlaps/Toplaps/Downlaps/Offlaps - Exercise.

Sands and Carbonates Reservoirs Stratigraphy. Deep-Water Reservoirs Stratigraphy - Turbidites.

Well Location and DrillMap Exercise.

Bright-spots - Dim-spots - Flat-spots. Seismic Attribute Analyses.

AVO – Amplitude Variation with Offset Evaluations


Deep-Water Mapping Techniques.

Map contouring exercises - anticline, rift basin, compressional basin.

Interpretation of deep-water records offshore rifted margins.

Data Comparisons: Gulf of Mexico, Offshore Brazil and West Africa, North Sea, Australia Northern Shelf/Slope, Southeast Asia Timor and Arafura Seas, Andaman Sea.

Mapping Exercise #1: Top and Base Salt Mapping in deepwater. Pull-up correction base salt. Bathymetry correction. Mapping Techniques - Discussion. Time and Depth Map Contouring in deepwater.

Mapping Exercise #2: Syn-Rift Isopach Mapping. Seismic Velocities: Average, Interval, NMO, RMS, Dix Equation.

Depth Conversion Techniques: PSTM and PSDM.

Gas seeps and gas hydrates recognition. Overpressure prediction


Deep-Water Reservoirs Interpretation Techniques.

Mapping reservoir porosity, net to gross and net pay thickness.

Reservoir identification - bright spots, dim-spots, flat-spots.

Attributes: amplitude, frequency and phase, windowed attributes.

Comparative Interpretation of Post-Stack & Pre-Stack Time Migration.

Pre-Stack Depth Migration - Interpretation.

Mapping Exercise #3: Turbidite Play Offshore Brazil. Mapping Techniques Precision.

Map Contouring - Block Faulting.

Deepwater Petroleum Systems: Source Rock Burial, Migration Paths, Trap Formation, Hydrocarbon Emplacement.

Prospect Generation ; Risking of Deep-Water Prospects ; Project Economics.


Deep-Water Compression Tectonics - Mapping Interpretation.

Southeast Asia: Makassar Strait, South Irian Jaya, South China Sea, Palawan Basin, West Natuna Sea.

Mapping Exercise #4: Southeast Asia Deep-Water Reservoirs.

Fault Contouring. Discussion of Mapping Techniques.

Velocities and Depth Conversion in deep-water.

Wells Location and Depth Map Construction.


Course and Projects Review.

Course Test(s).

Case Histories – GoM, West Africa, East Brazil, North Sea, Asia .

Course Review – Thematic discussion, topics, questions, answers.

Final Test.

Deepwater Drilling Design and Operations

This five-day course develops capability, at a skill level, in the design and drilling operations in deepwater wells.  It is designed to give drilling engineering professionals an understanding of the technology, processes, and equipment used to drill deepwater oil and gas wells.

The course will follow a typical deepwater drilling program and drilling process from geology setting, through metocean environment, station-keeping, rig selection, conductor driving, surface casing setting, to drilling the remainder of the well.  Wellhead systems, BOP, and marine riser systems for typical deepwater MODUs will be covered.

Once the drilling process and equipment has been reviewed the class will then look at some operational aspects such as well control and shallow hazards; then it will continue with emerging technologies such as multi-axis rigs, Dynamic Pressure Drilling, and surface BOP's.

Finally participants will gain awarness of key issues with testing, completing, and interventions, as well as overall operations management od deepwater well projects. 

This course will be a mix of video presentations, power points, and discussions, along with group exercises to discuss the challenges encountered in a deepwater program. At the end of the course, the participants will understand the complexities and issues which must be addresed when drilling deepwater wells.


Deepwater Drilling Challenges and History 

  • Deepwater drilling operations
  • Deepwater history
  • Deepwater locations and geology
  • Overburden and compaction
  • Pore and fracture pressures

On the first day participants will be given an introduction to deepwater operations and an overview of the offshore drilling history.  The class will then look at the more detailed aspects of the deepwater geology and the various deepwater locations in the world. This portion will cover how deepwater reservoirs are formed and why some of the geological challenges associated with deepwater can be explained by the geological settings. Next participants will look at the overburden and compaction issues associated with deepwater locations as it explains the critical differences for pore and fracture pressures between deepwater and shallow water operations.


Planning Operations 

  • Metocean and currents
  • Rig selection
  • Station keeping
  • Open water operations (ROV’s)
  • Conductors

The second day will continue with the discussion on deepwater aspects that have to be taken into account when planning operations, the issues associated with weather and currents, and the impact these have on a deepwater operation. This will lead into station-keeping requirements and methods, and then how rigs are selected: what selection criteria may be required, and how to select which rig type and contractor.

The day will continue with a discussion over the ROV systems required for deepwater operations and the shallow hazards faced.


Conductors, Surface Casing and Well Design

  • Conductors
  • Subsea wellheads and casing strings
  • Cementing
  • BOP systems

On day three, participants will continue to learn about the installation of conductors, subsea wellhead systems, surface casing and subsequent casing strings.  They will also learn how deepwater well design is impacted by wellhead systems. 

Cementing challenges associated with deepwater surface casings and deeper hole sections will be covered.  Participants will also focus on BOP systems for deepwater


Deepwater Rig Surface Equipment and Well Operations 

  • Drilling Riser Systems
  • Drilling equipment for deepwater
  • Deepwater well control
  • Fluids
  • Salt

During the fourth day participants will look at drilling risers systems and then take closer look at the surface equipment and system automation employed on deepwater rigs.  This will include drilling systems, as well as mud handling and riser handling systems.  Deepwater well control will focus on the issues associated with deepwater well control, including a discussion on the BP Macondo well, and some of the common well control issues associated with deepwater operations, including shallow water, gas flows, hydrates, and riser gas issues.  Finally concerns associated with drilling fluids will be addressed, and key issues in dealing with salt will be discussed.


Drilling Fluids, Subsalt Issues, and New Technologies 

  • Multi-axis rigs
  • Dynamic pressure drilling
  • Surface BOP applications
  • Testing, completions and interventions
  • Operations management

The final day will be spent discussing new technology implementation, deepwater testing, completions and interventions.  and then the issues and solutions in managing well operations in deepwater, the advanced rig systems employed, and the complex deepwater drilling operations.   

HPHT Drilling Design and Operations

This course has been designed to help drilling engineering professionals understand the technologies, terminology, challenges, concepts, processes, and equipment used to drill High Pressure and High Temperature oil and gas wells.

The course follows a typical HPHT operation and provides an understanding of the geological settings through well planning, drilling operations and well control challenges to the completion challenges in HPHT wells. Critical HPHT challenges are addressed in detail during the course. Some of the solutions such as managed pressure drilling are addressed with a focus on the issues that are being solved.

This course will be a mix of video presentations, power points, and discussions, along with group exercises to discuss the challenges encountered in an HPHT program. At the end of the course, the participants should understand the complexities associated with HPHT operations and will gain an understanding of issues that must be addressed when drilling HPHT wells.

This course addresses HPHT drilling issues and challenges. Participants will be expected to know many of the common conventional drilling technologies. The course does not address common drilling engineering such as trajectory design, casing design, mud systems, hole cleaning, or ballooning. However, where the HPHT environment has an effect on these drilling processes the course will highlight those specific issues.


HPHT History and Challenges and the Geological Settings

  • Defining the HPHT Environment
  • HPHT Challenges and associated Standards and Practices
  • Geology in the HPHT Environment
  • HPHT Reservoirs

On the first day we will set the HPHT environment by looking back at the history of drilling these deep hot wells. The class will be presented with the challenges associated with the HPHT environment and look at what standards and regulations apply to these HPHT wells. This is followed by a more detailed introduction of the geological aspects of the HPHT wells. Pressure ramps, increased temperatures and the various issues associated with HPHT geology will be presented. Next participants will look at the overburden, pore pressures, fracture pressures and temperatures associated with HPHT as this explains the critical differences between HPHT and normal drilling operations.


Well Design

  • Casing Design and Tubular Selection
  • Shoe Placement
  • Annular Pressure build up and Thermal De-rating
  • Casing Wear, H2S and CO2Effects
  • Cementing Challenges and Practices

The second day we look at the well design aspects of HPHT wells. Trajectories, together with casing design and the associated issues in these high temperature environments will be addressed. Annular pressure buildup as well as temperature effects on the tubulars will be presented. Candidates will then presented with the sour gas effects in HPHT environments and then we look at the challenges and solutions when cementing HPHT wells.


Fluids and Well Control

  • Drilling Fluid Aspects
  • Gas Solubility
  • Elastomers
  • Well Control, Ballooning, Wellbore Breathing
  • Gas Expansion
  • Well Control Procedures

On day three, participants will be introduced to the fluids and gasses encountered in HPHT wells. The aspects of drilling fluids and reservoir fluids are addressed and issues such as temperature stability, gas solubility, compressibility, elastomer ratings and operations aspects of drilling fluids will be covered. Once the fluids are understood we move onto the well control aspects, where we look at gas expansion, ballooning, losses, well control procedures and cover some of the operational aspects such as tripping, stripping and making connections.


Rig Surface Equipment and Drilling Operations

  • Surface Equipment for HPHT
  • Downhole Equipment Challenges
  • Managed Pressure Drilling
  • Finger Printing and Drilling Practices
  • Contingency Planning
  • Well Control Emergencies

During the fourth day participants will take a closer look at all of the surface and down hole equipment that is being used in HPHT drilling operations. We will see why rig equipment as well as downhole equipment needs to be reviewed, inspected and selected based on the specific well requirements. We then look at the drilling practices and drilling technologies that are being used in HPHT wells, this includes Managed Pressure Drilling. The class then moves on to contingency planning and well control emergencies and this will introduce the candidates to aspects of emergencies and the various well control issues that can be encountered whilst drilling HPHT wells.


Completions and Well Testing

  • HPHT Completions
  • Design Considerations
  • Component Selection and Specifications
  • Tubing Leak Contingencies
  • HPHT Well testing
  • Operational Testing Considerations
  • Well testing Safety

The final day will be spent looking at completion and well testing issues for HPHT wells. Participants will discuss what needs to be addressed for completion and testing operations and the safety aspects associated with production of HPHT wells. The class will finish with some examples of challenges that have been encountered when producing HPHT wells.

Subsea Production Systems (SPS) and Technologies

This class will provide participants with an introduction to subsea production facilities.  It will take participants from the conceptual design to the operation of the subsea production facilities.  Participants will have the chance to learn about typical system architecture, design drivers, and general requirements for subsea production systems.  Equipment design and operations, flow lines, flow assurance, and material selection will all be covered.


Subsea Production Systems (SPS) 

  • Concepts and definitions
  • General design requirements
  • Equipment and operations

Day one of this course will focus on Subsea Production Systems (SPS).  Specifically, this course will introduce the concepts and definitions, typical system architecture, design drivers, and general design requirements for SPS.  Subsea equipment and operations, flow lines, flow assurance, and material selection will also be covered.


Subsea Production Systems (SPS) Continued

  • Procedures for operations
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Limitations, barriers, and challenges       

This day will continue the discussion on SPS, specifically standards and procedures for major operational modes.  Maintenance and repair, along with limitations, barriers, and challenges will covered.                 


SPS Technology

  • Major subsea technology
  • Equipment and operations
  • Global energy balance       

Day three will focus on subsea technology separation, compression, pumping, oil and gas processing, and monitoring systems.  Special attention will be given to equipment functionality and operations.  The global energy balance of the SPS will also be covered.


Flow Assurance and Subsea Well Intervention

  • Flow assurance 
  • Subsea well intervention        

On day four, participants will take a closer look at flow assurance, specifically  sand management, along with hydrate, wax, scale and asphaltene deposition control, prevention, and remediation. Subsea well and facilities intervention technologies and procedures will be also covered on this day.


Digital Oilfield

  • Production monitoring, control, and optimization technology 
  • Data acquisition and data management 
  • Instrumentation, control, and monitoring systems 
  • Integrated systems 

The last day will focus on the digital oilfield.  Specific topics that will be covered include the production monitoring, control, and optimization, data acquisition, and data management.  Technologies and design for instrumentation, control, and monitoring systems will also be covered.  Participants will learn about the different types of integrated systems, then will discuss an actual example of an integrated system.  The day will end with a lesson on case histories.              


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