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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  31 Oct 2020

31 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

The Impact of Seismic Interpretation Methods on the Analysis of Faults: A Case Study from the Snøhvit Field, Barents Sea

Jennifer Cunningham1,3, Nestor Cardozo1, Chris Townsend1, and Richard Callow2 Jennifer Cunningham et al.
  • 1Department of Energy Resources, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
  • 2Equinor ASA, Forusbeen 50, 4035 Sandnes, Norway
  • 3Equinor ASA, Sandslivegen 90, 5254 Sandsli, Norway

Abstract. Five seismic interpretation experiments were conducted on an area of interest containing a fault relay in the Snøhvit field, Barents Sea, Norway, to understand how interpretation method impacts the analysis of fault and horizon morphologies, fault lengths, and vertical displacement (throw). The resulting horizon and fault interpretations from the least and most successful interpretation methods were further analysed to understand the impact of interpretation method on geological modelling and hydrocarbon volume calculation. Generally, the least dense manual interpretation method of horizons (32 inlines (ILs) x 32 crosslines (XLs), 400 m) and faults (32 ILs, 400 m) resulted in inaccurate fault and horizon interpretations and underdeveloped relay morphologies and throw that can be considered inadequate for any detailed geological analysis. The densest fault interpretations (4 ILs, 50 m) and auto-tracked horizons (1 IL x 1 XL, 12.5 m) provided the most detailed interpretations, most developed relay and fault morphologies and geologically realistic throw distributions. Analysis of the geological modelling proved that sparse interpretation grids generate significant issues in the model itself which make it geologically inaccurate and lead to misunderstanding of the structural evolution of the relay. Despite significant differences between the two models the calculated in-place petroleum reserves are broadly similar in the least and most dense experiments. However, when considered at field-scale the magnitude of the differences in volumes that are generated solely by the contrasting interpretation methodologies clearly demonstrates the importance of applying accurate interpretation strategies.

Jennifer Cunningham et al.

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Jennifer Cunningham et al.

Jennifer Cunningham et al.


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Latest update: 04 Dec 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This work investigates the impact of commonly used seismic interpretation methods on the analysis of faults. Fault analysis refers to fault length, displacement and the impact these factors have on geological modelling and hydrocarbon volume calculation workflows. This research was conducted to give geoscientists a better understanding of the importance of interpretation methods and the impact of unsuitable methology on geological analyses.
This work investigates the impact of commonly used seismic interpretation methods on the...