DAY 1 – Monday 29th March
Session 1: Seismic Recognition of Stratigraphic Traps
Stratigraphic traps are containers independent of structural or fault closures. In the past, these traps were mostly discovered accidentally while drilling conventional structural targets. Subtle changes in seismic reflection waveforms make their detection difficult using traditional processing and interpretation techniques. To identify such traps, an integrated approach involving high-resolution seismic imaging, using techniques and procedures such as ad-hoc seismic acquisition parameter set estimation (via feasibility study) and application, seismic attributes, rock physics, geobody extraction, and sequence stratigraphy, in addition to stratigraphic correlation, can be used to define and confirm stratigraphic traps. Geological interpretation and geoscientists’ requests should guide the outline of the seismic processing and the acquisition parameter set defined consequently.
Rock physics/inversion is particularly important during seismic stratigraphic recognition as this allows geoscientists to identify top and bottom seals, if frequency content of the seismic is appropriate, an essential component for determining hydrocarbon accumulation size. Furthermore, dual inversion calculating acoustic impedance (P-wave) and elastic impedance (S-wave) allows to characterize the proprieties and fluid content of the reservoir. The integration with borehole seismic survey, tailored on the particular project, facilitates the phases of appreciation and development of the hydrocarbon field.
Diagenetic overprinting must be taken into consideration, because it can modify primary trapping geometries. Diagenesis can be predicted and mapped reliably when core analysis is integrated with seismic studies, especially if diagenesis follows facies or paleo-structure.
Session 2: Sequence Stratigraphic Concepts and Models
Recognition and delineation of sedimentary facies and facies associations through sequence stratigraphic analysis are critical in the search for subtle stratigraphic traps. The modern multi-component of 3D-3C seismic data acquisition provides high-resolution of subsurface signatures allowing additional knowledge for detailed geological interpretation. Generation of useful two- and three-dimensional sequence stratigraphic models for identification of stratigraphic traps requires data integration that includes surface seismic, borehole seismic, log data, core/cuttings, and outcrops in an overall geological framework.
Applied sequence stratigraphy provides models for three-dimensional distribution of top, lateral, and bottom seals, all of which are critical components of stratigraphic traps. “Layer-cake” stratigraphic models generally are inadequate for enhancing subtle stratigraphic traps, and we should approach the stratigraphic record with the a priori assumption that time boundaries cross lithostratigraphic surfaces at some scale. Contributions to this session should focus on high-resolution sequence stratigraphic models for the Middle East that can be useful for recognition of stratigraphic traps. Presentations and posters on clastic, carbonate, and mixed systems are welcome.
DAY 2 – Tuesday 30th March
Session 3: Outcrop Analogues
Outcrop analogues are a key element in improving the understanding of subsurface geology, due to their ability to bridge the gap between the seismic scale and the well-bore scale geological observations. Detailed sedimentological and diagenetic facies interpretations made in outcrop underpin sequence stratigraphic models and allow for a quantification of lateral and vertical heterogeneities in reservoir, seal, and source-rock facies. In addition, outcrops provide insights into depositional geometries and bedding patterns which, together with facies observations, allow establishment of predictive high-resolution sequence stratigraphic models.
Examples are solicited where a combination of outcrop analogues with 3D seismic surveys and borehole information (logs, core, cuttings, and borehole seismic) improve our understanding of stratigraphic architecture and have been instrumental in the generation of new exploration concepts as well as revision of old ones.
DAY 3 – Wednesday 31st March
Session 4: Integrated Case Studies
The complex nature of stratigraphic traps often requires an integrated analysis to evaluate both discoveries and failures. Additionally, the goal is to identify sweet spots and to assess potential economic valuation.
Multidisciplinary studies and integration of data such as well-log evaluations, seismic inversion for reservoir characterization, well-test results, and pressure data, are key for success and to have a balanced overview in both exploration and appraisal phases of operations. Integration with potential methods projects could provide:
- more accurate image of the basement and/or magmatic/magnetic bodies (Magnetic survey)
- recursive iterations and cross-check between seismic velocity and gravity velocity derived from density (Gravity survey).
The purpose of this session is to resolve the complexities and to revisit some of the existing discoveries and missed opportunities. These may have been previously classified as structural traps or micro traps based on a conservative one-dimensional geological view.
In recent years, various stratigraphic trap discoveries in the Middle East were successful through integration of multiple data sets, evolving play understanding, and technological advances to explain anomalies, which were not previously in line with conventional understanding.
Session 5: Successes and Failures – Learnings from Both
Exploring, delineating, and developing stratigraphic trap plays is an exciting and challenging process. Successes lead to excitement and that may reduce learning potential. Meanwhile, failures cause a great deal of mind, soul, and knowledge searching; hence, more learning takes place than that caused by successes. Additionally, failures may cause despair, discouragement, or delays in exploration unless explorers are wise, resilient, and budget saving.
In exploring stratigraphic traps, the first well, or few wells, may not be successful. Deliberately integrating relevant information and re-defining the container continue through the development phase in stratigraphic reservoir exploration and development. Maximizing the use of every bit of information is the best road to finding, delimiting, and producing stratigraphic traps. Posters and presentations in this session share either a success that was repeated, or a failure that was used as a learning platform to reach subsequent discoveries.
Topics covering learning from exploring Middle East stratigraphic traps – in both carbonates and clastics - are preferred. Sharing such examples is encouraged. Hydrodynamic trapping, especially in combination with noses and stratigraphic variations, is a topic that is sought.
Analogues closely similar to Middle Eastern geology are also welcome. Analogues from nearby regions, well-studied cases, or directly relevant examples add perspective and expedite the process of learning as analogues improve existing knowledge, and those learnings can properly manage expectations.