Seismic Amplitude Interpretation

(2001 SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Short Course)

by Fred Hilterman

Duration: One day

Intended Audience: Intermediate

During the last 30 years, seismic interpreters have routinely applied bright spot and AVO technology for recognizing prospects and predicting lithology. New amplitude attributes were added to this technology as new exploration problems were defined. R&D continues in the filed of amplitude interpretation, especially as E&P costs escalate as more severe environments are explored, such as the ultra-deepwater plays. With the high interest in reducing exploration risk, this course addresses the methodology of an amplitude interpretation and the subsequent benefits and limitations that one can expect in various rock-property settings.

Course Outline:
The first part of the course reviews relationships between rock properties and geophysical observations. Practical problems illustrate the assumptions and limitations of commonly used empirical transforms. In addition, step-by-step procedures for conducting and verifying fluid-substitution techniques are presented.

The second part identifies the components of the seismic response that are best suited for differentiating pore-fluid from lithologic effects. Field examples emphasize what combination of seismic signatures should be expected for different rock-property environments.

The third part provides rules of thumb for predicting AVO responses and interpreting lithology from observed responses. These rules of thumb help select the best seismic attribute for calibrating amplitude to rock properties in different areas. A case history illustrates the rock-property calibrations that are needed.

The last part examines the numerous amplitude attributes that can be extracted from seismic to quantify an interpretation. The benefits and limitations of these attributes in soft to hard rock environments are discussed first with model data and then with case histories.

This is a good opportunity for those interested in solving practical problems involving seismic amplitude interpretation. An excellent reference book is provided to the participants.


Instructor Biography:
Fred Hilterman