Complex Geologies Case Study: Subsalt
Identify Drillable Prospects in a Subsalt-Intensive Portfolio
A technologically sophisticated offshore E&P operator had amassed a vast portfolio of proven and undeveloped acreage in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore regions of West Africa, Brazil, and the Mediterranean. They had lined up deepwater drilling capacity to test their highest potential prospects and faced a decision to either relinquish or extend their leases on soon-to-expire acreage, or acquire offset blocks. The acreage was believed to be highly prospective but the potential reservoir targets were difficult to image, as many were obscured by salt bodies or extensive salt sheets.
Multi-Project 'Alliance' Applying Reverse Time Migration (RTM)
To better understand the risks and opportunities associated with its exploration portfolio, the E&P operator committed to a multi-year RTM alliance with our GX Technology (GXT) group. As an early adopter of our RTM technique, the operator was keenly aware of the advantages it could bring to structurally complex imaging situations, including reservoir targets that were adjacent to or beneath salt. Having worked with our GXT Imaging Solutions group on the advancement of RTM, they had witnessed first-hand the improvement in efficiency that GXT had achieved in implementing the computationally intensive RTM algorithm.
Clearer Subsurface Images Help De-Risk Exploration Portfolio
Since the agreement was signed, we have helped this E&P client better understand the risks and opportunities associated with its exploration portfolio. Leveraging the alliance, the client's Exploration teams have been able to rapidly assess their undeveloped acreage position in the Gulf of Mexico, make key decisions about leasehold acquisition (and divestment), and rapidly progress exploration concepts and leads into a prioritized set of near-term drillable prospects. Elsewhere, RTM and additional geophysical studies have enabled the client to better characterize assets that have already been discovered and, in so doing, optimize their appraisal, development, and reservoir management programs.