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Wave-shape classification and attribute analysis of the lower Miocene deep-water reservoirs, Laguna Madre Basin, offshore Mxico

Khaled Fouad, William A. Ambrose,* Shinichi Sakurai, David Jennette, and Yong-Joon Park, Bureau of Economic Geology, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin; Mario Aranda, Juan Alvarado, and Eduardo Macias, PEMEX Exploracin y Produccin, Tampico, Mxico
Summary The lower Miocene deep-water play in Laguna Madre Basin contains attractive depositional features and yet is considered high-risk potential. Previous economic activity within this region largely focused on large traps within carbonate rocks of the Tuxpan Platform. Recently interest has renewed in exploring natural gas reserves in the Neogene plays. In this study, we analyzed a nonproductive horizon representing the base of the Miocene and containing an apparent toe-of-slope channel complex in the proximal part of the basin. We deployed seismic facies analysis using neural-network technology and seismic sequence attributes to delineate (1) depositional facies, (2) sandstone geometries, and (3) possible hydrocarbon occurrences. A strong decreasing impedance relationship and polarity reversal anomalies were mapped from seismic data and calibrated with well logs. Future success was deemed to depend on identifying those anomalies that represent high potentials of hydrocarbon accumulation. Introduction The Sardina 3-D seismic survey is a part of the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan continental shelf of Mexico that extends from Veracruz Basin in the south to Burgos Basin in the north. The Tuxpan Basin includes some of the most prolific oil fields in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The 3-D covers 1,600 km2, shot recently over a mature oil field drilled on the shelf edge of the Tuxpan carbonate platform (Oxfordian Age). We demonstrated seismic sequence and facies analysis integrated with attribute sequence analysis to examine the potentials of the lower Miocene deep-water channels. Seismic facies maps were generated to classify different shapes of seismic wavelets within windowed intervals (Poupon et al., 1999). Attribute maps were generated for different sequences between unconformity and flooding surfaces within the lower Miocene section (Bahorich and Bridges, 1992). Facies and attribute maps were calibrated with well logs. This work is a part of a 16-month joint study by the Bureau of Economic Geology and PEMEX Exploracin y Produccin to investigate Neogene hydrocarbon plays in the Tuxpan Basin. Geologic Setting The Laguna Madre-Tuxpan continental shelf of Mexico consists of a transitional crust that formed as a result of the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. Structures recognized within the shelf include multiple east-dipping, synthetic faults that sole into a single detachment within the base of the Miocene and associated hanging-wall periclines. Three crystalline-basement highs were formed at the ramp of the carbonate platform, and the mature oil field was developed around the northern buried high. The carbonate platform was starved during the early Tertiary, whereas thick, prograding lower and middle Miocene sediments unconformably overlaid the carbonate platform. The lower Miocene in the Sardina 3-D survey is a fine-grained succession of >500-m, east-dipping slope deposits overlying an interval of levee-channel complexes in the A-21 reservoir. These channel complexes are collectively 1 to 2 km wide and >15 km long. However, many individual channel deposits are only 300 to 500 m wide and shale filled; these channels were associated with a netbypass system and were conduits for sediments deposited basinward in sandy basin-floor fans. These channels are of the erosional type described by Nelson and Kulm (1973). Sandstone in A-21 reservoir channel complexes occurs mainly as erosional channel-margin and overbank remnants that collectively have a complex internal architecture and may constitute small stratigraphic traps, a risk for reservoir size. Methods Stratigraphic architecture was delineated through seismic sequence analysis. Synthetic seismograms from six wells tied seismic data to well-log-based stratigraphy, and paleontological data and index fossils were used for age determination. Petrophysical analysis of the well logs was performed to distinguish lithology and to quantify sandstone content. Seismic surfaces were interpreted to define third-order sequences to encompass lowstand wedges and basin-floor fans, and seismic sequence attributes were extracted for each depositional interval. These attribute maps represent the extension of the systems tracts in three dimensions. Geometric attributes (Taner et al., 1994) were also very useful when extracted within a defined window around the interpreted horizon. Sandstone

Wave-shape classification and attribute analysis

geometries were imaged using conventional interval and windowed attribute-extraction techniques. Increased precision and accuracy of stratal architecture and amplitude-pattern detail were gained by deforming or flattening seismic volumes. This technique was applied to the lower Miocene FS-80 to SB-85 interval, summarized in figure 1. Windowed attributes were extracted within 80 ms above the SB-85 unconformity and for the entire interval. We also employed Stratimagic software to interpret seismic facies on the basis of neural-network wavelet-shape classification. Two trials were analyzed, one within an interval between the basal unconformity to the upper flooding surface and the other from a constant time window, 80 ms above the unconformity. In this technique the neural network classifies different shapes of the seismic traces within a certain interval into a number of wavelets specified by the user. Each wavelet is given a color code that can also be edited by the user. These color-coded wavelets can be presented as a map (classification map) with the same color codes given to the wavelets. Because the shape of the wavelet changes with changing rock properties, this map is assumed to be a facies map. The higher the number of wavelets, the more facies that can be characterized and the more complex the map will be. The optimal procedure is to start with lower numbers of wavelets (710) to define major trends of depositional elements, and then to increase the number gradually as needed. This study determined that 10 wavelets best represented the diversity of shapes of seismic traces needed to characterize depositional elements. Discussion and Results Well log analysis and rock data show that the basal Miocene unconformity interval is high impedance, high gamma ray, low resistivity, and low porosity. This interval is mostly shale (80%), with a small amount of sandstone and limestone (20%), whereas calcareous content increases to the southeast part of the study area. Average porosity is in the range of 3 to 10%. Overlying lower Miocene strata are composed of approximately 700 m of siltstone above 500 m of overpressured shale. Note that the relatively high impedance of the lower Miocene horizon is due to the increase of calcareous content and probable tight sands in this interval. The low impedance of this interval may be due to the calcareous and sandy content being missed where siltstone overlies overpressured shale. Low impedance and polarity reversal at the lower Miocene horizon are therefore not due to hydrocarbon occurrence, but rather to lithology changes (fig. 2). Seismic sequence attribute maps show that distinctive depositional features trend basinward perpendicular to the lower Miocene shelf edge. These features are interpreted as toe-of-slope channels that served as conduits for distal basin-floor fans. Geometric attributes extracted at the 80ms window above the flattened lower Miocene horizon define the boundaries of the channel features. Two wells were drilled in channel margins. Well 1 was drilled into the north margin of the channel. Although this well did not test the channel (because it was cut by a fault at the lower Miocene level), hydrocarbon shows were recorded in this interval. Well 2 was drilled in the northwest part of the channel. This well is also considered marginal where the amplitude anomaly of the channel dims. Seismic facies maps (classification maps) were useful for distinguishing the channel feature delineated by seismic attributes as well as being able to define the complex fan and some of small-scale channel and levee deposits. Facies were calibrated from approximately 60 wells in the 3-D survey (40 wells in the mature field and 19 wells scattered). The shapes of the wavelet at different well locations were correlated to the color-coded facies map (fig. 3). Conclusions Seismic-attribute and wave-shape analysis were utilized to define facies and depositional features in a selected 3-D survey in Laguna Madre-Tuxpan Basin. Lower Miocene toe-of-slope channels at the south part of the survey were delineated through this study. The channel features have not yet been tested because most of the drilling targeted the carbonate platform. Although two wells were drilled at the margin of the channel, they have not actually tested it. Detailed analysis of these amplitude anomalies needs to be done, in conjunction with our detailed facies maps, in order to test the probability of hydrocarbon occurrence. Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank PEMEX for support of this research and for permission to publish these data. We also acknowledge support of this research by Landmark Graphics Corporation via the Landmark University Grant Program, as well as the support of Paradigm and Stratimagic Software Co. We thank Lana Dieterich for editing the manuscript. Publication was authorized by the Director, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin.

Wave-shape classification and attribute analysis

References Bahorich, M.S., and Bridges, S.R., 1992, Seismic sequence attribute map (SSAM): 62nd Ann. Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, p. 227-230. Nelson, C.H., and Kulm, L.D., 1973, Submarine fans and channels, in Turbidites and Deep Water Sedimentation: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Pacific Section, Short Course, Anaheim, CA, p. 39-78. Poupon, M., Azbel, K., and Ingram, J., 1999, Integrating seismic facies and petro-acoustic moldering: World Oil, June, p. 75-80. Taner, M.T., Schuelke, J.S., ODoherty, R., and Baysal, E., 1994, Seismic attributes revisited: 64th Ann. Internat. Mtg., Soc. Expl. Geophys., Expanded Abstracts, p. 1104-1106.

Figure 1: (a) Structure-contour map of the lower Miocene unconformity SB-85. (b) Isochron map of SB-85 to FS-80. Blue and magenta represent thicker intervals, shown in the strat column at the upper right of the figure. (c) Absolute amplitude for the same interval, SB-85 to FS-80. Red indicates high-amplitude values. (d) NWSE seismic line shows the high amplitudes of the lower Miocene. The arrows are pointing to the anomalies in the attribute map.

Wave-shape classification and attribute analysis

Figure 2: Seismic line showing polarity reversal along the lower Miocene SB-85 unconformity. Petrophysical analysis shows that reversal in polarity is not due to hydrocarbon occurrence, but rather lithology changes.

Figure 3: Facies classification map of the lower Miocene interval. (a) Classification facies map, showing toe-of-slope channel system inferred from network of red-yellow-blue patterns representing a complex of small-scale channel and levee deposits. (b) Wavelets used in the classification.

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