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GEOPHYSICAL MODELING AND STRUCTURAL INTERPRETATION OF A 3D

REFLECTION SEISMIC SURVEY IN FARNSWORTH UNIT, TX

By

Ashley C. Hutton

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment


of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science in Geophysics

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology


Department of Earth and Environmental Science

Socorro, New Mexico


June, 2015
ABSTRACT

The Farnsworth Unit in Ochiltree County, TX, is the site of the Southwest
Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration's (SWP) large-scale carbon capture,
utilization, and storage demonstration project. Ongoing development of a comprehensive
3D geologic model provides the basis for monitoring and modeling CO2 migration
within, and potential leakage from the upper Morrow sandstone reservoir, which is
undergoing tertiary recovery using anthropogenic CO2.
The SWP acquired a 33 mi2 3D seismic survey over the entire Farnsworth Unit.
Also acquired were vertical seismic profiles, 2D crosswell tomography surveys, wireline
logs and core data from three new wells. Formation top interpretations are based on
integrating 3D seismic and compressional sonic well log data into a velocity model to
convert the seismic z-axis into the depth-domain. Converting domains allowed the 3D
seismic data to be correlated to other depth-domain datasets, such as new and legacy well
log data and core sections. Surfaces generated from seismic interpretation also provided
the framework for a geologic model that can be populated with information from seismic
attributes, well log property maps, and other sources and thus allows for propagation of
reservoir properties into the 3D seismic volume.
Seismic attributes describe a measurable characteristic of seismic data that
resolves features or quantifies some physical property. While fractures and faults are not
always obvious in seismic data, edge enhancing seismic attributes can be employed to
highlight those features. Edge-detection volumes that measure waveform similarity and
ant-tracking volumes that track continuous features were generated to illuminate possible
fault structures. Nine faults were interpreted that were resolvable across different
attributes and defined planar features in three dimensions. The interpreted fault planes are
probably sealing features rather than seal bypass systems, which partly affects explains
poor sweep efficiency across fault planes and affects the permeability values in the
comprehensive 3D geomodel.
Seismic attributes are also useful for determining rock properties that can
populate a 3D geomodel. Geometric attributes that are sensitive to reflection impedance
changes help predict porosity, lithology, and formation thicknesses. However, the
Morrow B reservoir is below tuning thickness, so the seismic data was only able to
provide a structural fabric for the geomodel at the Morrow interval.

Keywords: Farnsworth Unit; Morrow B sand; CO2 Sequestration; CO2 Enhanced Oil
Recovery; Depth Conversion; Velocity Modeling; Seismic Attributes; Anadarko Basin
Faulting; Faulted CO2 Reservoir
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Funding for this project is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL through the Southwest Partnership on
Carbon Sequestration (SWP) under Award No. DE-FC26-05NT42591. Additional
support has been provided by site operator Chaparral Energy, L.L.C., WesternGeco, and
Schlumberger Carbon Services.
I would like to thank my committee members Robert Balch, Susan Bilek, and
Jolante van Wijk, for their invaluable input and mentorship. I also would like to thank
Peter Mozley, Laurel Goodwin, Steve Cather, Gary Axen, and Ron Clymer for sharing
their geological expertise with me. I owe Bob Will of Schlumberger Carbon Services a
huge thank you for taking the time to mentor me through using Petrel 2013 and teaching
me about geophysical modeling basics, and to George el-Kaseeh for taking the time to
help quest for the base of the reservoir. To my fellow graduate students on the REACT
team, Dylan Rose-Coss, William Ampomah, Sarah Gallagher, Paige Czoski, and Evan
Gragg, thank you for your hard work, dedication, and collaboration. I would also like to
thank my mentors from Chevron, Katy Lohr, Randy Storey, and Simms Raybon, whose
knowledge and enthusiasm have inspired my research. Most of all, I extend my thanks to
Robert Lee who saw a great amount of potential in me and gave me the opportunity to
work on this project.
Thank you to my family and friends whose love and encouragement have allowed
me to achieve my dreams. I especially want to thank my amazing parents Laura and
Wayne Hutton who have given me all of the opportunities they never had.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................................... v  


LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................................ vi  
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS .......................................................................... xii  
Chapter 1 INTRODCUTION ........................................................................................................... 1  
1.1 Research Motivation .............................................................................................................. 1
1.2 Farnsworth Unit History ........................................................................................................ 3
1.3 Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage .............................................................................. 4  
Chapter 2 GEOLOGIC SETTING ................................................................................................... 8  
2.1 Regional Stratigraphy ............................................................................................................ 8
2.2 Tectonic Evolution ............................................................................................................... 12
Chapter 3 METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................................ 15  
3.1 Available Data ..................................................................................................................... 15
3.2 Velocity Modeling by the Seismic Well Tie ........................................................................ 17
3.2.1 Depth Conversion Background ..................................................................................... 18  
3.2.2 Sonic Log Calibration ................................................................................................... 20  
3.2.3 Synthetic Seismic Generation ....................................................................................... 21  
3.2.4 Well Tie ........................................................................................................................ 22  
3.2.5 Stratigraphic Interpretation ........................................................................................... 23  
3.2.6 Depth Conversion by the Velocity Model .................................................................... 24  
3.3 Fault Interpretation ............................................................................................................... 25
3.3.1 Variance ........................................................................................................................ 25  
3.3.2 Amplitude Contrast ....................................................................................................... 28  
3.3.3 Ant-track ....................................................................................................................... 29  
3.3.4 Interpretation Criteria .................................................................................................... 32  
3.4 Thin Bed interpretation ........................................................................................................ 32
3.4.1 Complex Trace Analysis ............................................................................................... 32  
3.4.2 Neural Networks ........................................................................................................... 33  
3.4.3 Thin Bed Effects on Amplitude .................................................................................... 33  
3.4.4 Iso-frequency Volumes ................................................................................................. 33  
Chapter 4 RESULTS ...................................................................................................................... 35

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4.1 Velocity Model and Horizon Model .................................................................................... 35
4.2 Fault Modeling and Project Implications ............................................................................. 44
4.2.1 Fault History ................................................................................................................. 46  
4.2.2 Fault Displacement and Moment Magnitude ................................................................ 53  
4.2.3 Comments on Fluid Transmissibility ............................................................................ 57  
4.3 Morrow B Reservoir Characterization ................................................................................. 58
4.4 Fine-Scale Geologic Model ................................................................................................. 67
Chapter 5 DISCUSSION ............................................................................................................... 72
Chapter 6 CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK ................................................................... 76
6.1 Conclusions .......................................................................................................................... 76
6.2 Suggestions for Future Work ............................................................................................... 76
REFERENCES .............................................................................................................................. 78
APPENDIX A PETREL 2013 DEFAULT PARAMETERS FOR SEISMIC ATTRIBUTES...... 82  

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LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
 
Table 3.1: Variance Attribute Parameters ...................................................................26
Table 3.2: Ant-track Attribute Parameters ..................................................................31
Table 4.1: Velocity Maps for Velocity Model Surfaces and Well Top Correction ....42
Table 4.2: Shale Gouge Ratio for Each Fault within the Morrow Shale ....................58

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page

Figure 1.1: Location of the Farnsworth Unit (red diamond) in the northeast part
of the Texas panhandle within the Anadarko Basin (shaded region).
Stars indicate locations of large point sources from which
anthropogenic CO2 is scrubbed from emissions and compressed for
injection. The northern star is the Arkalon Ethanol Plant in Liberal,
Kansas, and the southern star is the Agrium Fertilizer Plant in Borger,
Texas. Modified from Grigg and McPherson, 2012. ...................................2
Figure 1.2: Cross section of a reservoir between and injection well and a
production well in a CO2 EOR field wherein CO2 and water displace
residual oil within pores during WAG cycles. From NETL, 2010 ..............5
Figure 1.3: Examples of hydrodynamic trapping by a) a structural and b) a
stratigraphic trap. From Zhang and Song (2014). ........................................6
Figure 1.4: Residual trapping of CO2 within the pore spaces and wetting phase
fluid of a reservoir. Figure source: The Cooperative Research Centre
for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC). ...........................................7
Figure 2.1: The extent of the Springer-Morrow sandstone play (dotted region) in
the Anadarko Basin. The Farnsworth Unit is represented by the red
dot. Modified from Ball et al. (1991). ..........................................................9
Figure 2.2: Stratigraphic column of the Farnsworth Unit with gamma ray and
resistivity well logs. The measured depths (feet) are representative of
the lithology at the #13-10A well. Lithology type is represented on
the far right column. ...................................................................................11
Figure 2.3: Paleotectonic map featuring rifts extending north into the southern
U.S. from late Proterozoic to early Paleozoic time. DA, Delaware
Aulacogen; SOA, Southern Oklahoma Aulacogen; RFR, Reelfoot
Rift; RCG, Rough Creek Graben, RT, Rome Trough. Modified from
Perry (1989). ..............................................................................................13
Figure 2.4: Isopach map of Cambrian Timbered Hills and Upper Cambrian
through Lower Ordovician carbonates. Contour intervals are 1,000
and 2,000 feet. Note the thickening to the south. The Southern
Oklahoma Trough extends northeast-southwest away form
paleocontinental margin. The dotted regions represent the extent of
different mountain ranges associated with the Anadarko Basin. From
Perry (1989). ..............................................................................................14

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Figure 3.1: Acquisition geometry and parameters for the 3D surface seismic
survey at the Farnsworth Unit. Red points are source locations and
blue points are receiver locations. ..............................................................15
Figure 3.2: Map of the available seismic data. The Farnsworth Unit boundary is
outlined in blue. Light gray lines are township and range. The 3D
surface seismic is outlined in pink. The combination VSP survey for
the #13-10A and #14-1 wells in the west half of the field, and the
VSP for the #32-8 well in the east half of the field is outlined in
yellow. The 2D crosswell tomography is outlined in green along
wells #13-6, #13-10A, #13-14, and #14-1. Wells corresponding to
these surveys are represented by points. ....................................................17
Figure 3.3: Well log data acquired in the depth domain can be mapped into the
time domain by application of 𝑇 = 𝑓 𝑧 . A is some point in on the
sonic curve in depth, denoted by ZA. DtA is the sonic value at point A.
In part b), depth and time are related on a plot of depth on the y-axis
and time on the x-axis. TA refers to the point in two-way traveltime in
which point A plots according to the time-depth function (line with
square points), or 𝑇 = 𝑓 𝑧 . From Robein (2003). ...................................19
Figure 3.4: Sonic log calibration for well #13-10A. Track 1 is a curve
corresponding to the time of the checkshot minus time of the sonic
log. Knees (blue dots) have been applied at each checkshot point.
Track 2 is the residual drift curve. Track 3 is the original sonic (red)
and calibrated sonic (blue). Track 4 is the output interval velocity
(blue) and the input interval velocity (red). Track 5 is interval
velocity. Track 6 is the average velocity curve. Track 7 is the two-
way time curve. ..........................................................................................21
Figure 3.5: The #13-10A well tie process. Track 1 is the bulk density log (blue)
and the calibrated sonic log (black). These are multiplied to produce
an acoustic impedance log. Track 2 is the reflection coefficient log.
Track 3 displays a zero-phase, 25 Hz Ricker wavelet convolved with
the reflectivity log. Its power spectrum and phase spectrum are
displayed below it. Tracks 4-6 shows the synthetic seismogram
centered between seismic data adjacent to the well. ..................................22
Figure 3.6: #13-10A well displayed on a seismic cross section. The z-axis is
vertical traveltime in milliseconds. Each white point along the well
trajectory corresponds to a well top pick of a formation. Seismic
horizons are picked on the seismic data, starting at the well top points.
A few seismic horizon picks are displayed as colored lines
intersecting the well points. .......................................................................24
Figure 3.7: Variance attribute time slice at the base of the Morrow B sand. Edges
are enhanced by higher coefficients of variance (measured from 0 to
1), which correspond to bold and warmer colored features. ......................26

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Figure 3.8: Comparison of the three time slices at the base of the Morrow B sand
of variance datasets in Table 3.1. The first time slice is from the
Variance volume, the second is from the Variance with long range
filter and smoothed (1) volume, and the third is from Variance with
long range filter and smoothed (2) volume. Larger filter sizes and
higher vertical smoothing values enhanced continuity of planes in the
vertical and horizontal directions in the second and third time slice. ........27
Figure 3.9: Amplitude contrast attribute time slice at the base of the Morrow B
sand. Edges are enhanced where there are changes in amplitude
character. Maximum contrast is characterized by lighter shades. Note
the fault highlighted by the bold white linear feature in the south. ...........28
Figure 3.10: Ant-track attribute time slice at the Morrow B base. Fault planes are
extracted and visualized with a fault plane signature. Dark black to
blue linear features indicate a possible fault planes. Lighter linear
features tend to be noise. ............................................................................29
Figure 3.11: Examples of different ant-track output time slices at the base of the
Morrow B sand from Table 3.2. a) Ant Track 1, b) Ant Track 2, c)
Ant Track 7, and d) Ant Track Ant Track 6. Examples a) and b) used
the variance datasets, Variance and Variance with long range filter
and smoothed (1), respectively. Examples c) and d) used the
amplitude contrast dataset. Example b) was primarily used for fault
interpretation. .............................................................................................30
Figure 4.1: Results of the #13-10A well tie. Track 1 is the bulk density log (blue)
and the calibrated sonic log (black). These are multiplied to produce
an acoustic impedance log. Track 2 is the reflection coefficient log.
Track 3-5 show the synthetic seismogram centered in between
seismic data adjacent to the well. Track 6 displays the input interval
velocity (red) and the output interval velocity (blue). Track 7 is the
drift curve. ..................................................................................................35
Figure 4.2: Looking northeast at a depth-converted, arbitrary seismic inline and
crossline intersection from a previous velocity model. The green
surface is the top of the Morrow shale. The points near the surface are
well top picks of the Morrow shale formation. There is a decent fit
around the #13-10A well in the west half of the field, where the time-
depth function was created. However, there is a poor fit near the #32-
8 well in the eastern half of the field where the surface of the Morrow
shale is 200 ft above the formation top picks. ...........................................37
Figure 4.3: Results of the #32-8 well tie. Track 1 is the bulk density log (blue)
and the calibrated sonic log (black). These are multiplied to produce
an acoustic impedance log. Track 2 is the reflection coefficient log.
Tracks 3-5 show the synthetic seismogram bounded on either side by
seismic data adjacent to the well. The green lines indicate where
stretching, squeezing, or anchoring was applied. Track 6 displays the

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input interval velocity (red) and the output interval velocity (blue).
Track 7 is the drift curve. ...........................................................................38
Figure 4.4: The final velocity model results, looking northeast and upward at a
depth-converted, arbitrary seismic inline and crossline intersection.
Each point corresponds to a well top at the formations for which their
respective surfaces are interpreted. The top of the Wellington
formation is red, the base of the Chase formation is yellow, the top of
the Tonkawa formation is green, and the top of the Morrow shale is
purple. ........................................................................................................39
Figure 4.5: The velocity model’s velocity profile (blue) displayed over the
velocity log calculated from the #13-10A sonic log (red). The blue
curve generally fits the trends of the red curve. Note the change in
velocity at the interfaces of the different formation tops (horizontal
dashed lines)...............................................................................................41
Figure 4.6: Color legends corresponding to the velocity and residual maps in
Table 4.1. ...................................................................................................43
Figure 4.7: Looking northeast at the preliminary horizon model. Each color is a
zone that conforms to different geologic units controlled by the
interpreted horizons. This provides part of the framework that was
used for the final comprehensive geologic model. ....................................44
Figure 4.8: Map view showing the faults within the Farnsworth Unit (outlined in
blue) at the Morrow level. Township and range are outlined in light
gray. ...........................................................................................................45
Figure 4.9: Wichita megashear (shaded region) trending along the Southern
Oklahoma aulacogen (striped region) between the Ouachita and
Cordilleran orogenic belts. The Farnsworth Unit’s approximate
location is indicated by the red point. Modified from Budnik (1986). ......46
Figure 4.10: North-south seismic cross sectional view of Fault 3 (subvertical green
line). The vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the
Marmaton Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone, and top of
the Morrow B sand are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting
relationships. The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset
map by a yellow line. .................................................................................47
Figure 4.11: North-south seismic cross sectional view of the graben structure
bounded by Fault 4 (magenta line) and Fault 5 (light green line). The
vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the Marmaton
Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone, and top of the
Morrow B sand are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting relationships.
The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map by a
yellow line..................................................................................................49
Figure 4.12: East-west seismic cross sectional view of Fault 1 (purple line) and
Fault 2 (blue line). The vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the
top of the Marmaton Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone,

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and top of the Morrow shale are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting
relationships. The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset
map by a yellow line. .................................................................................50
Figure 4.13: East-west seismic cross sectional view of Fault 1 (purple line) and
Fault 2 (blue line), south of the cross section in Figure 4.12. The
vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the Marmaton
Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone, and top of the
Morrow shale are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting relationships.
The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map by a
yellow line..................................................................................................51
Figure 4.14: East-west seismic cross sectional view of Fault 6 (gold line). The
vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the Marmaton
Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone, and top of the
Morrow shale are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting relationships.
The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map by a
yellow line..................................................................................................53
Figure 4.15: Cumulative count of earthquakes of M ≥ 3 in central and eastern U.S.
from 1967-2012 (red line). The dashed line represents the long-term
rate of 21.2 earthquakes per year. The inset is a map showing
locations of these earthquakes. (Ellsworth, 2013). ....................................54
Figure 4.16: Plot of potential moment magnitude with displacement in meters
displayed in log scale for each of the faults in Figure 4.8. The orange
shaded area indicates displacement measurements comparable to the
M ~ 3 earthquakes in Oklahoma.. ..............................................................56
Figure 4.17: SGR algorithm used for the estimation of SGR for each fault
intersecting the Morrow B sands in Table 4.2. From Yielding et al.
(1997). ........................................................................................................58
Figure 4.18: Looking northwest at the 2D crosswell tomography survey with
Morrow B sand interpretations (vertically exaggerated 25x). The top
of the formation is yellow and the base is green. The #13-10A well is
in orange. The green points along the well are the top and base
Morrow B sand well top picks. ..................................................................59
Figure 4.19: Isopach map showing the thickness in feet of the Morrow B reservoir
within the Farnsworth Unit (white). Township and range is outline in
light gray. Contours are 5 ft interval. (Dylan Rose-Coss, personal
communication, 2015). ..............................................................................60
Figure 4.20: Amplitude envelope attribute draped over the top surface of the
Morrow B sand. Relatively high amplitudes are shown in red.
Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours. ............................................61
Figure 4.21: Instantaneous frequency attribute draped over the top surface of the
Morrow B sand. Higher values are shown in orange to yellow.
Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours. ............................................61

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Figure 4.22: Instantaneous phase attribute draped over the top surface of the
Morrow B sand. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours. .................62
Figure 4.23: Wedge models showing tuning effects with a) seismic cross section of
the wedge model, b) amplitude envelope, c) instantaneous phase, and
d) instantaneous frequency. Modified from from Robertson and
Nogami (1984). ..........................................................................................63
Figure 4.24: Geobody probe RGB mix of instantaneous frequency (red), amplitude
envelope (green), and instantaneous phase (blue) draped over the top
surface of the Morrow B sand. Instantaneous phase was muted since
it is mostly constant and dominated the probe. Contours are 10 ft
interval isopach contours. ..........................................................................64
Figure 4.25: Geobody probe mix of instantaneous frequency and envelope draped
over the top surface of the Morrow B sand. Lower values for each
were muted. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours.........................65
Figure 4.26: Results of a neural net including instantaneous frequency, envelope,
and instantaneous phase draped over the top surface of the Morrow B
sand. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours. ...................................66
Figure 4.27: Results of a neural net including instantaneous frequency and
envelope draped over the top surface of the Morrow B sand. Contours
are 10 ft interval isopach contours. ............................................................67
Figure 4.28: East-west cross sectional view of the current geomodel (Dylan Rose-
Coss, personal communication, 2015). ......................................................68
Figure 4.29: Looking southeast at intersections of the 3D geomodel. The x and y
intersections display stratigraphic structure, as in Figure 4.29. The
horizontal layer is the Morrow B reservoir populated with porosity
data (Figure 4.31). The vertical planes cutting through the Morrow B
reservoir are the fault model. They extend to the surface, but are only
active within formations in which they cross cut within the seismic
data (Dylan Rose-Coss, personal communication, 2015). .........................69
Figure 4.30: Top surface of the Morrow B sand from the geomodel displaying the
porosity property generated by William Ampomah. Porosity values
are measured from 0 to 30 percent. ............................................................70
Figure 4.31: Top surface of the Morrow B sand from the geomodel displaying the
permeability property (William Ampomah, personal communication,
2015). Permeability is measured in millidarcies. There is a clear
difference between the lower permeability east half of the field and
the much more permeable west half. There seems to be some
permeability trend in the west half where faults impede fluid flow. .........71
Figure 5.1: Top surface map of the Morrow B sand. Contour lines are every 50 ft. ...72
Figure 5.2: Map of the west of the Farnsworth Unit. The bubbles show the
magnitude of CO2 injected (yellow) and produced (green) at different

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wells. Fault traces for Faults 1-3 at the Morrow B level have been
drawn over the bubble plot. Image courtesy of Reid Grigg. ......................73
Figure 5.3: Map of the west of the Farnsworth Unit. The bubbles show the
magnitude of CO2 injected (yellow) and oil produced (red) at
different wells. Fault traces for Faults 1-3 at the Morrow B level have
been drawn over the bubble plot. Image courtesy of Reid Grigg. .............74
Figure 5.4: Map of the west of the Farnsworth Unit showing the faults present in
the area and well locations. ........................................................................75
Figure A.1: Screenshot of the variance attribute default settings..................................82
Figure A.2: Screenshot of the variance attribute default settings..................................83
Figure A.3: Screenshot of the ant-tracking attribute default settings for passive ant
mode...........................................................................................................84
Figure A.4: Screenshot of the ant-tracking attribute default settings for aggressive
ant mode. ....................................................................................................85

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS
A Surface area

AI Acoustic impedance

CCUS Carbon capture, utilization, and storage

CO2 Carbon dioxide

D Displacement

DOUG Douglas Group

EOR Enhanced oil recovery

ft Feet

k Compaction factor

KCTY Kansas City Group

kg Kilogram

M Magnitude

m Meter

M0 Seismic moment

Mw Moment magnitude

mi Mile

MRMN Marmaton Group

MRRW Morrow shale

MRRWB Morrow B sand

ms Millisecond

Nm Newton-meter

PDZ Principal displacement zone

RC Reflection coefficient

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RGB Red-green-blue

s Second

SGR Shale gouge ratio

STCO Stone Coral Group

SWP Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration

t Time

T1_2 Two-way traveltime

TONK Tonkawa sandstones

TRFG Thirteen Finger limestone

TVD Total vertical depth

TWT Two-way time

V0 Instantaneous velocity from seismic reference datum

vinst Instantaneous velocity

VSP Vertical seismic profile

WAG Water alternating gas

WELL Wellington Formation

z Depth

µ Shear modulus

ρ Density

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This thesis is accepted on behalf of the faculty
of the Institute by the following committee:

Sue Bilek, Academic Advisor


______________________________________________________

Robert Balch, Research Advisor


_____________________________________________________

Jolante van Wijk, Committee Member


______________________________________________________

I release this document to New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Ashley C. Hutton
________________________________________________________

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Research Motivation

The Farnsworth Unit, located in Ochiltree County, Texas (Figure 1.1), is the site
of a carbon dioxide (CO2) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project and is also the location of
the Phase III large-scale carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) demonstration
experiment conducted by the Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration
(SWP), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy Regional Carbon Sequestration
Partnership (RCSP) (NETL, 2013). The project goal is to inject and effectively store 1
million metric tons of anthropogenic CO2 collected from the emissions of two large point
sources into the Pennsylvanian Morrow B sand formation, a prolific oil reservoir in the
Anadarko Basin (Grigg and McPherson, 2012). The SWP’s main objectives for this
experiment are to accurately characterize the Morrow B reservoir, model the geology,
and monitor CO2 fluid migration (Grigg and McPherson, 2012). The expectation is this
experiment will provide blueprints and best practices for future CCUS projects in the
SWP region.

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Figure 1.1: Location of the Farnsworth Unit (red diamond) in the northeast part of the
Texas panhandle within the Anadarko Basin (shaded region). Stars indicate locations of
large point sources from which anthropogenic CO2 is scrubbed from emissions and
compressed for injection. The northern star is the Arkalon Ethanol Plant in Liberal,
Kansas, and the southern star is the Agrium Fertilizer Plant in Borger, Texas. Modified
from Grigg and McPherson, 2012.

The success of the SWP experiment depends on the reservoir and caprock
system’s ability to inhibit fluid migration out of the reservoir. CO2 plume behavior can be
predicted using geologic models and simulations, and it can be monitored with 4D
seismic imaging techniques. To accurately model and monitor the injected CO2 in the
subsurface, the reservoir and caprock system must be adequately characterized and
modeled. Such variables as stratigraphy, structural architecture, reservoir heterogeneity,
relative permeability, faulting, and chemistry affect the migration and storage success of
injected CO2 (Gibson-Poole et al., 2009; Zhang and Song, 2014). 3D seismic surveys are
powerful tools for determining stratigraphic geometry, mapping fault planes, and
discerning heterogeneities in the subsurface.
The goals of the study presented in this thesis are to interpret the stratigraphy and
structure from a 3D surface seismic cube. Seismic stratigraphic interpretations delineate

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bedform architecture and emphasize regional deformation. Structural traps, such as
anticlinal folds and sealed fault blocks, provide regions with vertical and lateral seals, in
which buoyant CO2 and hydrocarbons will accumulate (Zhang and Song, 2014). Fault
interpretations from seismic attributes reveal fault geometry, formation and bed offset,
and areas that exhibit complex fluid flow dynamics. The physical properties of fault
planes greatly influence fluid flow through a reservoir and provide migration pathways
above the sealing lithology (Chang and Bryant, 2008). Faults can behave as either
conduits or barriers to flow (Chang and Bryant, 2008). It is paramount to characterize and
understand these features as they can improve injection strategy for efficiently recovering
hydrocarbon resources and successfully storing CO2 (Gibson-Poole et al., 2009). Pre-
existing faults in the reservoir also have implications for inducing seismic events by
increasing the pore fluid pressure in the reservoir. The interpretations make up the
framework for a geomodel that will be used for CO2 plume migration simulation models
to analyze the effects these seismically resolvable features have on fluid flow.

1.2 Farnsworth Unit History

Farnsworth Field was discovered in 1952 by the J.M. Huber Corporation when
they completed a gas well in the upper Morrow sandstone (Parker, 1956; Munson, 1988).
This well was drilled to 8,096 ft and it produced 2,750 thousand ft3 of gas per day and 48
barrels of distillate (Munson, 1988; Parker, 1956). In 1955, Union Oil of California
initially drilled the first oil discovery well of the Farnsworth Morrow B reservoir at
depths between 7,960 ft and 7,970 ft (Parker, 1956; McKay and Noah, 1996; Munson,
1988). In 1963, the Texas Railroad Commission approved the consolidation of several
Morrow B oilfields, including the Farnsworth Field, the Waka Field, and the West Waka
Field, which make up the present-day Farnsworth Unit, the largest Morrow B oil field in
the Anadarko Basin (McKay and Noah, 1996; Munson, 1988).
In 1964, Union Oil of California began a water-flood for secondary oil recovery
(McKay and Noah, 1996; Munson, 1988). Peak production during water-flooding
reached 7,967 barrels of oil per day in 1972 (McKay and Noah, 1996). By this time
Union Oil of California was operating 125 wells within the unit (McKay and Noah,
1996).
Chaparral Energy, L.L.C. is the current field operator for the Farnsworth Unit. In
the early 2000s, the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership determined the
Farnsworth Unit Morrow B EOR project was a viable candidate for monitoring and
optimizing the long-term storing of anthropogenic CO2 (NETL, 2013). Since December
2010, the Farnsworth Unit has been undergoing tertiary oil recovery by a CO2 flood for
the purpose of EOR, which ultimately geologically stores the injected anthropogenic CO2
(NETL, 2013). The sources of the anthropogenic CO2 for the Farnsworth Unit are the
Arkalon Ethanol Plant located in Liberal, Kansas, and the Agrium Fertilizer Plant located
in Borger, Texas (Figure 1.1) (Grigg and McPherson, 2012). 25 injection wells are
currently being utilized to inject 1 million metric tons of anthropogenic CO2 at a rate of
0.2 million metric tons per year (Grigg and McPherson, 2012). The Farnsworth Unit will
continue to be monitored for CO2 migration, leakage, and induced seismicity until at least
2020 (NETL, 2013).

3
1.3 Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage

The rapid accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere resulting in global climate


change has become a significant environmental concern. CO2 emissions are expected to
increase as demand for fossil fuel energy sources increases (Zhang and Song, 2014).
Geologic CO2 sequestration is considered the most effective and technologically available
method for climate change mitigation (Zhang and Song, 2014; NETL, 2010). When
injecting CO2 for EOR purposes, the cost of sequestering and storing the CO2 is offset in
part by the profits of maximizing oil produced from the injection reservoir (NETL, 2010).
Anthropogenic CO2 is chemically scrubbed from emissions from two large point
sources, in this case the Arkalon Ethanol Plant and the Agrium Fertilizer plant, where it is
compressed on site to a supercritical fluid. The supercritical phase has physical properties
of both a gas and a liquid (NETL, 2010). It is then piped to injection wells that pump the
CO2 into the reservoir (NETL, 2010). When the supercritical CO2 encounters residual oil,
it forms a miscible, oil-rich fluid that is swept by a water alternating gas (WAG) cycle
towards surrounding producing wells (Figure 1.2) (Czoski, 2014; NETL, 2010). Any
produced CO2 not residually trapped is separated, compressed and re-injected into the
reservoir (NETL, 2010).

4
Figure 1.2: Cross section of a reservoir between and injection well and a production well
in a CO2 EOR field wherein CO2 and water displace residual oil within pores during
WAG cycles. From NETL, 2010.

There are four mechanisms for trapping supercritical CO2 within the reservoir for
successful, long-term storage. They are hydrodynamic trapping, residual trapping,
solubility trapping, and mineral trapping (Zhang and Song, 2014). Hydrodynamic
trapping can be structural, stratigraphic, or a combination of both (Figure 1.3), and it
occurs when supercritical CO2 is trapped under a low-permeability caprock (Zhang and
Song, 2014). This is the primary mechanism in the Farnsworth Unit where CO2 is trapped
beneath the Thirteen Finger limestone and overlying shales. Residual or capillary
trapping occurs rapidly as during a multiphase fluid flow (Burnside and Naylor, 2014;
Zhang and Song, 2014). Density differences in fluid cause the wetting phase to displace
CO2 as it buoyantly rises (Burnside and Naylor, 2014; Zhang and Song, 2014). However,
some of the CO2 will become disconnected from the plume and become immobile,
making it impossible to flush with the wetting phase (Burnside and Naylor, 2014). This
results in CO2 becoming trapped between pore spaces (Figure 1.4). Residual trapping also
contributes a large volume of trapped CO2 during flooding (Burnside and Naylor, 2014).
Simulation modeling indicates that most of the injected CO2 at the Farnsworth Unit has
been trapped residually. CO2 can also be trapped by dissolving in formation fluids,

5
known as solubility trapping, and it can be trapped during mineralization over geologic
time, known as mineral trapping (Burnside and Naylor, 2014; Zhang and Song, 2014).

Figure 1.3: Examples of hydrodynamic trapping by a) a structural and b) a stratigraphic


trap. From Zhang and Song (2014).

6
Figure 1.4: Residual trapping of CO2 within the pore spaces and wetting phase fluid of a
reservoir. Figure source: The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas
Technologies (CO2CRC).

7
CHAPTER 2

GEOLOGIC SETTING

2.1 Regional Stratigraphy

The Farnsworth Unit lies in the western Anadarko Basin, where the Springer-
Morrow sandstone play (Figure 2.1) produces non-associated gas and oil and associated
gas from structural and stratigraphic traps of the Pennsylvanian sandstones (Ball et al.,
1991). The Farnsworth Unit produces from the Upper Morrow sands, locally named the
Morrow B sand, which underlies the Atokan Thirteen Finger limestone caprock and lies
unconfomably on the Mississippian Chester formation (Gallagher, 2014). The Morrow B
is a thin bed comprised of discontinuous sand units separated by mudstone intervals
(Gallagher, 2014). Fluctuations in sea level controlled the Pennsylvanian Morrow B sand
deposition (Wheeler et al., 1990; Al-Shaieb et al., 1995; Gallagher, 2014; Czoski, 2014).
During regressive periods, or low sea level, valley incision by erosion controlled
sediment transport to the southeast (Gallagher, 2014). During transgressive periods, or
high sea level, the valleys would first fill with fluvial sediments, and then flood
depositing estuarine and floodplain sediments, and finally depositing marine mud
(Gallagher, 2014; Wheeler et al., 1990)

8
Figure 2.1: The extent of the Springer-Morrow sandstone play (dotted region) in the
Anadarko Basin. The Farnsworth Unit is represented by the red dot. Modified from Ball
et al. (1991).

Figure 2.2 is a comprehensive stratigraphic chart for the Farnsworth Unit from top
of the Red Cave formation at about 890 ft depth to the upper Morrow formation at 7750
ft depth. The Morrow B sand reservoir is a thin sandstone layer within the Morrowan
formation, which is principally comprised of black shales. Disconformably overlying the
Morrow formation is the Atokan Thirteen Finger formation (Higley, 2014), which is
interbedded limestone and shales. The Thirteen Finger limestone is considered a
Pennsylvanian source rock feeding mid-Morrowan to Permian hydrocarbon reserves, and
exists today as a shale gas reservoir (Higley, 2014). In the remainder of Pennsylvanian
time, the Desmoinesian, Missourian, and Virgilian series were deposited in a
transgressive-regressive cycle (Higley, 2014) similar to the Farnsworth Unit’s valley
incision. The Cherokee group is predominantly shales with minor intervals of thin
limestones and some minor channel-fill sandstones (Higley, 2014). The Marmaton is

9
mostly limestones with shale intervals and has produced oil in the Hugoton Field (Higley,
2014). The Kansas City group is a thick dolomite group underlying the Missourian
marine shales with minor sandstone and limestone intervals. The Virgilian strata exhibits
alternating beds of limestones, marine sandstones, and shales (Higley, 2014), such as the
Douglas and Tonkawa sandstones. The Douglas sandstone group possibly contains
source rock (Higley, 2014). The Chase group is predominantly dolomite with some minor
shale intervals and produces hydrocarbon resources in the southern Anadarko Basin from
a granite wash at the Amarillo-Wichita uplift (Higley, 2014). The overlying Wellington
formation, a sandstone rich formation with minor shales and dolomites, provides a seal
for the underlying producing strata (Higley, 2014).

10
Figure 2.2: Stratigraphic column of the Farnsworth Unit with gamma ray and resistivity
well logs. The measured depths (feet) are representative of the lithology at the #13-10A
well. Lithology type is represented on the far right column.

11
2.2 Tectonic Evolution

The Anadarko Basin is the deepest basin in the North American craton, and one
of the most prolific oil and gas producing basins in the United States (Perry, 1989; Evans,
1979; Higley, 2014). It is bounded by the Nemaha ridge in the east, by the Marietta-
Ardmore Basin in the southeast, and by the Amarillo-Wichita Mountain front in the south
(Evans, 1979; Higley, 2014; Ball et al., 1991). The basin history is complex and can be
divided into four periods: (1) Crustal consolidation, (2) Southern Oklahoma aulacogen
development, (3) Oklahoma trough subsidence, and (4) Oklahoma trough subsidence and
Pennsylvanian deformation (Perry, 1989; Brewer, 1982).
Crustal consolidation, intrusion, and regional high-grade metamorphism from 1.3
to 1.4 Ga are the first structural events in the evolution of the Anadarko Basin (Brewer et
al., 1983; Perry, 1989). The Hardeman Basin, a 1.2 Ga buried basin, is considered a late
Precambrian or early Cambrian trough, in which intrusive grabbroic and granitic dikes
consolidated into the Wichita Mountain block (Perry, 1989; Brewer et al., 1983).
Rifting occurred north of the Hardeman Basin in the region of what is now
Southern Oklahoma (Perry, 1989; Brewer, 1982). The Southern Oklahoma aulacogen
formed in an early to mid-Cambrian extensional episode, in which the continental crust
rifted from the North American craton (Brewer, 1982). However, the Southern Oklahoma
rift is considered to be an aulacogen, or a failed rift arm of an inferred triple junction
(Figure 2.3) (Perry, 1989; Brewer, 1982). The rift zone is characterized by large volumes
of gabbros and tholeiitic basalts, which are compositionally similar to suites found in the
older Midcontinent Rift (Perry, 1989). The northern margin of the Southern Oklahoma
aulacogen underlies the southern margin of the Anadarko Basin (Perry, 1989). Southward
thickening in the Arbuckle carbonate isopach map in Figure 2.4 expresses the paleo-
hinge line along the northern margin (Perry, 1989). Normal or reverse faulting resulting
from the development of the aulacogen is largely inferred as Pennsylvanian deformation
has decimated any seismically-resolvable evidence for these structures (Perry, 1989).
Normal faulting is inferred only in the southern margin of the Anadarko Basin, the
basin’s deepest region (Brewer, 1982).

12
Figure 2.3: Paleotectonic map featuring rifts extending north into the southern U.S. from
late Proterozoic to early Paleozoic time. DA, Delaware Aulacogen; SOA, Southern
Oklahoma Aulacogen; RFR, Reelfoot Rift; RCG, Rough Creek Graben, RT, Rome
Trough. Modified from Perry (1989).

In the late Cambrian, the Southern Oklahoma aulacogen failed, and then began to
cool and subside throughout most of the Paleozoic era (Perry, 1989; Brewer, 1982; Ball
et al., 1991). This resulted in the development of the Southern Oklahoma trough (Figure
2.4), which is coaxial to the Oklahoma aulacogen (Perry, 1989).
In the late Mississippian time, a new tectonic regime for the Anadarko Basin
began that was related to a plate collision between the North American plate and
Gondwana or an intervening microplate (Perry, 1989; Higley, 2014). Regional uplift
associated with the Wichita orogeny also occurred upon the conclusion of this time
period (Higley, 2014). Deformation was most pronounced in Pennsylvanian times during
the generation of the Ouachita belt (Brewer, 1982), an event that defines the Anadarko
Basin’s shape today (Ball et al., 1991). Crystalline basement from the Wichita Mountains
was thrust northeast toward the Anadarko Basin over a series of south-dipping faults,
resulting in uplift of the Wichita Mountains and Amarillo arch (Brewer et al., 1983;
Higley, 2014). The thrust loading partly controlled the downwarping of the Anadarko
Basin, which also caused the increased strata thickness proximal to the Wichita Mountain
and Amarillo uplifts (Higley, 2014).

13
Southern Oklahoma has been considered to be a major wrench-fault province
(Perry, 1989). Faulting resulting from the Pennsylvanian crustal shortening shows
evidence of left-lateral displacement associated with thrusting (Higley, 2014). The
Wichita megashear exhibits left-lateral strike-slip movement after vertical block uplift
(Evans, 1979). Significant left-lateral movement would be post-Atokan (Evans, 1979).
Brewer (1982) suggests that sinistral wrenching may have been important in the early
Virgilian Arbuckle uplift, and any Pennsylvanian wrenching along the Wichita trend
probably occurred along previous thrust faults. However, COCORP data suggests faults
could exhibit oblique slip (Brewer, 1982).

Figure 2.4: Isopach map of Cambrian Timbered Hills and Upper Cambrian through
Lower Ordovician carbonates. Contour intervals are 1,000 and 2,000 feet. Note the
thickening to the south. The Southern Oklahoma Trough extends northeast-southwest
away form paleocontinental margin. The dotted regions represent the extent of different
mountain ranges associated with the Anadarko Basin. From Perry (1989).

14
CHAPTER 3

METHODOLOGY

3.1 Available Data

The SWP Farnsworth Unit experiment has one of the most extensive datasets in
the world for reservoir characterization of a CCUS project. Geophysical, geological, and
engineering data were available for generating a facies-based geomodel that will be used
to simulate fluid migration in the reservoir. To ensure the success of this experiment, it is
paramount that the reservoir and caprock system is thoroughly and accurately
characterized.
The data analysis, interpretation, and modeling presented in this document were
completed using Schlumberger’s Petrel 2013 software platform. This software is
designed to provide a “seismic to simulation” workflow, wherein data may be visualized,
interpreted, and integrated for building simulation models. As far as geophysics is
concerned, the Petrel 2013 software’s functionality is restricted to a strictly interpretive
software. More computationally intense functions, such as forward modeling, inversion,
spectral decomposition, and AVO analysis were unavailable.
One of the main objectives for this research was to interpret a 3D reflection
surface seismic cube acquired in July of 2013 by Schlumberger and processed by
WesternGeco (Figure 3.1). The survey covers approximately 33 mi2 (Figure 3.2) and
contains 546 inlines and 369 crosslines. Bin sizes were 82.5 ft by 82.5 ft.

Figure 3.1: Acquisition geometry and parameters for the 3D surface seismic survey at the
Farnsworth Unit. Red points are source locations and blue points are receiver locations.

15
Seismic attribute datasets were extracted from the 3D surface seismic data. 3D
seismic reflection data allows for 3D full-field property modeling. Well-log and core data
are localized measurements that only represent a small volume of the reservoir.
Seismically extracted attribute volumes describe heterogeneities away from the 1D well
log data and core data and define structural and stratigraphic complexity (Raeesi et al.,
2012). A seismic attribute is any quantitative measurement of seismic waveform data that
quantifies or enhances geometric, kinematic, dynamic, or statistical features for
interpretation (Chopra and Marfurt, 2007; Chen and Sidney, 1997; Chopra and Marfurt,
2005). Seismic attributes are interpretation aids that visually enhance features not
resolvable in the seismic reflections, like a fault extraction algorithm. They are also
mathematical transforms (Hampson et al., 2001) that extract information from the
wavelet to output, or predict, well log properties, such as an acoustic impedance
inversion.
A northwest-southeast trending 2D crosswell tomography survey was acquired in
February 2014 along wells #13-6, #13-10A, #13-14, and #14-1 (Figure 3.2). It provided a
much higher resolution intersection within the 3D survey that aided in interpreting the
thin bed reservoir.
Two checkshot surveys were generated from the vertical seismic profiles (VSP),
which were acquired in February 2014 at the #13-10A and #32-8 wells (Figure 3.2).
Checkshots were integral for calibrating well log data and interpreting the 3D surface
seismic cube. Only the VSP cube acquired at the #13-10A and #14-1 wells were available
for this research.

16
Figure 3.2: Map of the available seismic data. The Farnsworth Unit boundary is outlined
in blue. Light gray lines are township and range. The 3D surface seismic is outlined in
pink. The combination VSP survey for the #13-10A and #14-1 wells in the west half of
the field, and the VSP for the #32-8 well in the east half of the field is outlined in yellow.
The 2D crosswell tomography is outlined in green along wells #13-6, #13-10A, #13-14,
and #14-1. Wells corresponding to these surveys are represented by points.

Well log data from 166 wells in and near the Farnsworth Unit were used for
interpretation and velocity modeling. Gamma ray logs were useful for comparing and
constraining thin bed interpretations where the Morrow B reservoir exhibits a strong sand
signature. Compressional sonic logs acquired from the characterization wells drilled for
the project (Figure 3.2) allowed for well ties to the seismic. Finally, well top picks from
the 166 well dataset provided model control for the seismic depth conversion by the
velocity model.

3.2 Velocity Modeling by Seismic Well Tie

Velocity modeling is required for domain-converting seismic data. Seismic


profiles are displayed in two-way time, or the length of time for a seismic wave generated
at the Earth's surface to reflect off a subsurface acoustic reflector and travel to a receiver
on the surface. For characterization purposes, it is useful to convert the vertical axis from
two-way time in milliseconds to total depth in feet. This allows the interpreter to correlate

17
the seismic data to other datasets in the depth-domain, such as wireline log and core data,
and it allows formation thickness to be measured.
Time-to-depth velocity models integrate several datasets, including well logs,
well top picks, checkshot data, seismic reflection data, and horizon interpretations
(Viloria et al., 2009). A seismic well tie was used to create a time-depth relationship
between depth-domain well log data and time-domain seismic data. Formation top
horizons were interpreted from the well tie, which are used to build the structural
foundation for the velocity model.

3.2.1 Depth Conversion Background

Depth conversion velocity models operate on simple velocity, time, and depth
relationships. Instantaneous velocity 𝑣!"#$ , or the velocity as it relates to local elastic
parameters that the seismic wave encounters, is the derivative of the vertical distance
travelled with respect to the traveltime:

!"
𝑣!"#$ 𝑧 = , (1)
!"

where 𝑧 is vertical depth and 𝑡 is traveltime (Robein, 2003). For the purposes of
designing a velocity model, interval velocities are needed. Interval velocities describe the
average velocity of some finite, horizontal geologic layer or formation in which
instantaneous velocities may be similar. For some layer thickness 𝑧! − 𝑧! , the vertical
traveltime 𝑇!_! is expressed as:

!! !"
𝑇!_! = !! !!"#$ (!)
, (2)

which is also known as the integrated sonic between some depth interval (Robein, 2003).
Therefore, the interval velocity is expressed as:

𝑧! − 𝑧!
𝑣!"# = !! !" (3)
!! !!"#$ (!)

(Robein, 2003).
Seismic data is measured in two-way time, and in order to convert to the depth-
domain, a relationship between time and depth must be established. Perhaps the best way
to do this is to use sonic well logs and checkshot surveys. A continuous time-depth
function 𝑇 = 𝑓(𝑧) describes the vertical propagation time as a function of depth (Simm
and Bacon, 2014; Robein, 2003). The time-depth function is inverted using a simple
transformation:

18
𝑇 𝑍 = 𝑓 𝑍 ↔ 𝑍 𝑇 = 𝑓 !! (𝑇) , (4)
and thus,

𝑣!"#$ 𝑇 = 𝑣!"#$ (𝑍 𝑇 ) (5)

(Robein, 2003). The transformation allows the depth-domain well data to map into the
time-domain (Figure 3.3). By fitting the well data into the depth domain, a new time-
depth relationship is calculated that provides the initial parameters for the velocity model.

Figure 3.3: Well log data acquired in the depth domain can be mapped into the time
domain by application of 𝑇 = 𝑓 𝑧 . A is some point in on the sonic curve in depth,
denoted by ZA. DtA is the sonic value at point A. In part b), depth and time are related on
a plot of depth on the y-axis and time on the x-axis. TA refers to the point in two-way
traveltime in which point A plots according to the time-depth function (line with square
points), or 𝑇 = 𝑓 𝑧 . From Robein (2003).

19
3.2.2 Sonic Log Calibration

Compressional sonic log data and check shot surveys are an accurate measure of
vertical interval velocity (Luton and Prieto, 2000), and it provides a means to time-
convert well data. Sonic logs measure a traveltime Δt, from which slowness Δt/Δz is
calculated (Robein, 2003). This provides a sonic time-depth relationship. However, sonic
logs are not typically measured from the surface and only measure interval velocities
(Robein, 2003; Luton and Prieto, 2000; White and Simm, 2003), so vertical time and
average velocities from the surface cannot be calculated (Robein, 2003). This results in
generating synthetic seismograms with significant timing errors, which are more
detrimental than errors in amplitude (White and Simm, 2003).
Checkshots are thought to measure times that are closer to surface seismic data
(Robein, 2003) at the correct seismic scale (Simm and Bacon, 2014). Calibrating the
sonic log data by a checkshot survey, or a Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) provides a
sequence of control depths corresponding to vertical time (Robein, 2003; White and
Simm, 2003). The checkshots for the #13-10A and #32-8 wells, generated by VSP
contractor Schlumberger were the initial input time-depth relationships for calibration.
The sonic times are typically lower than the checkshot times due to the sonic
tool’s limitations, processing effects, and environmental factors (Robein, 2003; Box and
Lowrey, 2003). A sonic drift curve, or calibration curve, is calculated by subtracting the
sonic times from the checkshot times (Figure 3.4). The drift curve illustrates the effect of
velocity dispersion between log and seismic frequencies (Simm and Bacon, 2014). Knee
points, as denoted by the blue points on Track 1 of Figure 3.4, connect straight line
segments of the drift curve at each checkshot. The calibration log will suddenly bend at
unconformities or changes in log character (White and Simm, 2003; Simm and Bacon,
2014). The application of knee points allows direct control of the calibration (White and
Simm, 2003). Once knees are created, the drift curve is then applied to the sonic log
(White and Simm, 2003) for calibration. This results in a calibrated sonic log, the input
and output interval velocity curves, checkshot interval velocities, an average velocity
curve, and a picked TWT curve (Figure 3.4). The calibration outputs a new time-depth
relationship that relates vertical time and depth domains.

20
Figure 3.4: Sonic log calibration for well #13-10A. Track 1 is a curve corresponding to
the time of the checkshot minus time of the sonic log. Knees (blue dots) have been
applied at each checkshot point. Track 2 is the residual drift curve. Track 3 is the original
sonic (red) and calibrated sonic (blue). Track 4 is the output interval velocity (blue) and
the input interval velocity (red). Track 5 is interval velocity. Track 6 is the average
velocity curve. Track 7 is the two-way time curve.

3.2.3 Synthetic Seismic Generation

To directly correlate the well log data to the seismic data, synthetic seismic traces
are generated from the calibrated well log data. Synthetic seismic generation outputs a
time-depth relationship that is used to estimate interval velocities at the well point
(Viloria et al., 2009).
Synthetic seismograms are generated following the convolutional model. The
seismic wavelet is a function of acoustic impedance. An acoustic impedance log is
obtained by multiplying a density log and the inverted calibrated sonic log (Figure 3.5).
Reflection coefficients are the fractions of incident energy reflected from some interface
and is calculated as:

21
𝑅𝐶 =  
!"! !!"!
, (6)
!"! !!"!

where 𝑅𝐶 is the reflection coefficient and 𝐴𝐼 is an acoustic impedance value. The result
is a series of delta functions (Figure 3.5) describing the acoustic impedance contrast at a
reflective interface. To produce the synthetic seismic wavelet, the delta function series is
convolved with a 25 Hz Ricker wavelet, which is about the same frequency of the seismic
signal. It is important that the input wavelet frequency approximates the frequency of the
wavelet for the seismic data so the convolution returns a synthetic seismogram that
contains the same vertical resolution of the seismic data in order to accurately match
reflection events during the well tie.

Figure 3.5: The #13-10A well tie process. Track 1 is the bulk density log (blue) and the
calibrated sonic log (black). These are multiplied to produce an acoustic impedance log.
Track 2 is the reflection coefficient log. Track 3 displays a zero-phase, 25 Hz Ricker
wavelet convolved with the reflectivity log. Its power spectrum and phase spectrum are
displayed below it. Tracks 4-6 shows the synthetic seismogram centered between seismic
data adjacent to the well.

3.2.4 Well tie

Seismic well ties are crucial to seismic interpretation. A seismic well tie allows
the interpreter to accurately pick horizons (White and Simm, 2003) and map the depth-

22
domain into the time domain. A well tie involves matching events from the synthetic
seismogram to events in the adjacent 3D seismic data (Figure 3.5). First, a bulk time shift
is applied to shift the entire synthetic to a good-fit, wherein reflection events in the
seismic match reflection events in the synthetic for a given time/depth. Next, stretching
and squeezing may be applied to aesthetically enhance the tie, however anything but a
static shift is not recommended (White and Simm, 2003). Stretching and squeezing were
not applied to this well tie. The time-depth relationship was updated by bulk shifting the
synthetic seismogram in depth and time 12 ms to closer match reflections and correct for
refraction static effects, which were a large component of the time difference. Refraction
statics are results of weathered layer effects (Epili et al., 2012). Relatively loose or
uncompacted material overlying denser, compacted material produces a slow, variable
velocity layer that distorts temporal measurements (Epili et al., 2012). Refraction statics
are not uncommon in seismic data.

3.2.5 Stratigraphic Interpretations

Once the depth-domain well data was mapped into the time-domain using the
transformation described by Equation 4, the well and its well top picks were
superimposed onto a time-domain seismic intersection (Figure 3.6). Points corresponding
to well top picks at the well provided a starting point for horizon picking across the
seismic volume. The horizons were picked using a 3D autotracker for a single reflection
event followed by manual editing.

23
Figure 3.6: #13-10A well displayed on a seismic cross section. The z-axis is vertical
traveltime in milliseconds. Each white point along the well trajectory corresponds to a
well top pick of a formation. Seismic horizons are picked on the seismic data, starting at
the well top points. A few seismic horizon picks are displayed as colored lines
intersecting the well points.

3.2.6 Depth Conversion by the Velocity Model

The velocity model generated for depth-conversion is a Linvel “layer cake”


model. It is built from a structural framework made up of time-domain surfaces, which
were derived from the seismic horizon picks (Figure 3.6). The series of layers are
assumed to be homogeneous and relate to a relatively coherent geology (Robein, 2003).
The Linvel model is represented as:

(7)
𝑉!"#$ 𝑍 = 𝑉! + 𝑘𝑍 ,

24
where 𝑉! is the instantaneous velocity from the seismic reference datum and 𝑘 is a
constant compaction gradient (Robein, 2003). The compaction gradient describes how
velocity generally increases with depth by a factor of 𝑘 due to compaction (Robein,
2003). The instantaneous velocity 𝑉! was defined by a well time-depth relationship
surface method. The value for 𝑉! was estimated from the time-depth relationship
determined from the seismic well tie through the zone for all wells. Surfaces were output
that measures the variation of 𝑉! across the model. The compaction gradient 𝑘 was
defined using the well time-depth relationship constant, wherein the value was estimated
from the time-depth relationship through the zone and a constant value was used. In this
case, 𝑉! is determined from each well for every value of 𝑘 and the sum of the total error
at each well is plotted. Next, 𝑉! is recalculated at each well using an optimal value for 𝑘.
Well top picks were used as the surface correction in the depth-domain so that the
converted surfaces honored points of known formation change.
The velocity model output velocity surfaces, or the depth-converted input
surfaces. A general depth conversion was applied to the seismic cube, which was
stretched in conjunction with the surface’s new positions and geometries in the depth-
domain. The quality of the well-tie is discussed in Chapter 4.

3.3 Fault Interpretation

Faults that intersect the Morrow B reservoir and the Thirteen Finger caprock have
implications for CO2 migration out of the reservoir and for induced seismicity. Nine
faults were interpreted from the 3D surface seismic data and its derivatives. Variance,
amplitude contrast, and ant-track volumes were extracted from the 3D seismic data to
visually enhance and extract fault planes within the seismic cube. These attributes were
used to remove bias from the fault interpretations by visually and numerically enhancing
fault planes.

3.3.1 Variance

The variance dataset is an edge enhancement method opposite to coherence that


estimates the localized variance in the seismic signal. It is computed by generating a 3D
cube of normalized cross-correlation coefficients calculated from the amplitudes of
adjacent seismic traces (Chopra and Marfurt, 2007). If traces are dissimilar due to lateral
discontinuities, such as from fault offset, they will be mapped with high variance
coefficients, which are measured on a scale from 0 to 1. A variance coefficient close to 0
indicates traces are similar, whereas a variance coefficient close to 1 indicates traces are
significantly different from one another. This resulted in numerically separating fault
planes from surrounding variance data (Figure 3.7).
Three variance volumes were created with different degrees of filtering and
smoothing (Table 3.1). The parameters that a Petrel 2013 software user may change for
the variance attribute include the inline and crossline range, the vertical smoothing, and
the application of a dip correction. No dip corrections were applied to the variance
attributes, as it was computationally expensive and did not change the results of the
output volumes for this dataset. Inline and crossline range control the size of the filter, or

25
it controls the number of traces along inlines and crosslines to use to estimate horizontal
variance. It is common to keep the inline and crossline range equal. The vertical smooth
filter, measured in milliseconds, controls the tapered vertical smoothing applied to the
variance computation. Longer filters improve the signal to noise ratio, but also reduce the
sharpness of edges detected by the algorithm.
The first volume, labeled “Variance” in Table 3.1, used the default parameters in
the Petrel 2013 software. The second and third volumes were created as an attempt to
reduce noise and enhance the connectivity of fault plane features. Filter sizes were kept
the same in both inline and crossline direction. The larger filter size produced a smoother
result. Higher vertical smoothing produced a variance volume with more vertical
connectivity among variance anomalies and a higher signal to noise ratio. The differences
in these volumes are illustrated in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.7: Variance attribute time slice at the base of the Morrow B sand. Edges are
enhanced by higher coefficients of variance (measured from 0 to 1), which correspond to
bold and warmer colored features.

Table 3.1: Variance Attribute Parameters


Volume Inline range Crossline range Vertical
smoothing (ms)
Variance (default parameters) 3 3 15

Variance with long range filter 9 9 30


and smoothed (1)
Variance with long range filter 11 11 30
and smoothed (2)

26
Figure 3.8: Comparison of the three time slices at the base of the Morrow B sand of
variance datasets in Table 3.1. The first time slice is from the Variance volume, the
second is from the Variance with long range filter and smoothed (1) volume, and the third
is from Variance with long range filter and smoothed (2) volume. Larger filter sizes and
higher vertical smoothing values enhanced continuity of planes in the vertical and
horizontal directions in the second and third time slice.

27
3.3.2 Amplitude Contrast

The amplitude contrast dataset is also an edge enhancement attribute that is


loosely based on a Sobel filter. This method analyzes derivatives in all three dimensions.
A lateral change in wavelet amplitude results in strong changes (Chopra et al., 2014). The
output, or the enhanced edge, is the absolute value of the largest derivative (Figure 3.9)
(Chopra et al., 2014). Petrel 2013 also normalizes, weights, and vertically smoothes the
results.

Figure 3.9: Amplitude contrast attribute time slice at the base of the Morrow B sand.
Edges are enhanced where there are changes in amplitude character. Maximum contrast
is characterized by lighter shades. Note the fault highlighted by the bold white linear
feature in the south.

The Petrel 2013 software user may apply dip corrections, vertical smoothing
filters, and the ability to steer the volume along an azimuth. The amplitude contrast
volume that produced the best results used the default parameters with moderate
smoothing filter, a cosine squared weighting filter of radius of 7, to enhance vertical
connectivity. No dip correction and no directional steering or muting were applied.
Applying these parameters and using more vigorous smoothing filters with a radius of 10
to 15 tended to mute results so that fault planes were no longer distinguishable from the
background. The amplitude contrast dataset presented more information than the variance
attribute and contained more noise. Higher contrast enhanced the same features that the
variance attribute enhanced.

28
3.3.3 Ant-track

A suite of ant-track volumes was extracted from the variance and amplitude
contrast volumes (Table 3.2). Ant-tracking is an automated fault extraction attribute
applied to other edge-enhancement volumes or conditioned amplitude stacks. All of the
faults were tracked and interpreted on ant-track volumes.
The previously discussed attributes yield non-unique fault plane results due to a
combination of noise, artifacts, and enhancing non-fault structures (Pedersen et al., 2002;
Yan et al., 2013). The ant-track algorithm attempts to improve the signal to noise ratio of
fault structure by adopting insect swarm intelligence (Pedersen et al., 2002). The
algorithm is based on the foraging behaviors of real ants (Yan et al., 2013), whereby ants
produce a chemical pheromone trail to guide ants to a plentiful and quality food source
(Zhao and Sun, 2013). According to Pedersen et al. (2002), agents, or ants, are sent
throughout the volume to decide whether to emit some "electronic pheromone" on a fault
surface to trace the fault plane based on some pre-coded set of conditions. If an agent is
deployed to an area where no fault surface exists, the agent will terminate, and there will
be no trace. If the agent is deployed on a fault surface, it will trace the fault. The
expectation is that a fault surface will be traced by many agents, giving it a strong
"pheromone" signature. This will result in a darker, more outstanding curvilinear feature
in the attribute volume (Figure 3.10).

Figure 3.10: Ant-track attribute time slice at the Morrow B base. Fault planes are
extracted and visualized with a fault plane signature. Dark black to blue linear features
indicate a possible fault planes. Lighter linear features tend to be noise.

Since the fault interpretation largely depended on the output of the ant-track
volumes, several volumes were produced with varying parameters. Changing parameters

29
allowed the enhancement of fault planes of different sizes, orientations, and geometries.
It also allowed for removing bias against unreal features or artifacts. Table 3.2 describes
the different volumes used for structural interpretation in order of the volume’s
usefulness in discerning fault planes. Figure 3.11 illustrates the visual differences in some
examples of ant-track datasets. The ant-track volumes from the amplitude contrast
datasets were not used much as they were too noisy.

Figure 3.11: Examples of different ant-track output time slices at the base of the Morrow
B sand from Table 3.2. a) Ant Track 1, b) Ant Track 2, c) Ant Track 7, and d) Ant Track
Ant Track 6. Examples a) and b) used the variance datasets, Variance and Variance with
long range filter and smoothed (1), respectively. Examples c) and d) used the amplitude
contrast dataset. Example b) was primarily used for fault interpretation.

The initial ant boundary parameter controls how close initial ants are placed next
to one another in the volume. Lower values capture more detail than higher values. Most
volumes were kept at a moderately low initial ant boundary. Ant-track deviation allows
an ant to deviate from a local maximum (a fault plane signature) and search more voxels,
which can be described like a 3D pixel in a volume, adjacent to its track. Higher numbers
result in more connections. Ant step size is how many voxels an ant will travel per
increment. Higher numbers allow the ant to search for a fault plane further and make
more connections. However, higher values also coarsen the resolution. Illegal steps
allowed will allow an ant to proceed when a fault plane is not detected. Higher values aid
in tracking or connecting discontinuous events. Legal steps required is how many legal or
valid steps an ant must take after an illegal step. This controls the connectivity of the
tracked fault signature. Higher values will restrict travel and connections. Stop criteria

30
will terminate an ant’s movement after it’s allowed illegal steps are reached. Higher
percentages will allow the ant to travel further. Only typical value ranges suggested by
Petrel 2013’s manual were used.

Table 3.2: Ant-track Attribute Parameters


Output Input Initial ant Ant-track Ant Illegal Legal Stop
Volume Volume boundary deviation step steps steps criteria
(voxels) size allowed required (%)
(vox-
els)
Ant Track Variance 7 2 5 1 3 5
1
Ant Track Variance 5 2 3 2 2 10
2 with long
range filter
and
smoothed
(1)
Ant Track Variance 7 2 5 1 3 5
3 with long
range filter
and
smoothed
(1)
Ant Track Variance 7 2 5 1 3 5
4 with long
range filter
and
smoothed
(2)
Ant Track Amp 7 2 3 1 3 5
5 Contrast
SE-NW
strike
Ant Track Amp 7 1 3 1 2 5
6 Contrast
N-S strike
Ant Track Amp 7 1 3 1 2 5
7 Contrast
E-W
strike
Ant Track Variance 7 1 3 1 2 5
8
N-S strike
Ant Track Variance 7 1 3 1 2 5
9
E-W
strike

31
3.3.4 Interpretation Criteria

Pre-existing faults in the reservoir and caprock system have implication for the
success of the sequestration and storage experiment. It is paramount to accurately
interpret all fault structures to avoid caprock failure. Noise, data artifacts, and non-fault
related lithologic changes can resemble fault structure in seismic data and its attributes.
To ensure the fault interpretations were real features and the interpretations encompassed
the entirety of the fault structure, a set of criteria was designed. These criteria include:

1. Fault planes must be vertically continuous within seismic cube


2. Fault planes must be visible in all three dimensions
3. Fault planes must be ubiquitous across seismic attributes
All interpreted faults met these three criteria.

3.4 Thin Bed Interpretation

The average thickness of the Morrow B sand formation is 32 ft. This is below
tuning thickness, which is one quarter of the dominant wavelength of the 3D surface
seismic data (Widess, 1973; Robertson and Nogami, 1984; Gochioco, 1991). The
composite seismic signal generated by the interference of reflections above and below the
thin bed makes attempting to image thin beds beyond the vertical resolution of seismic
data challenging, if not impossible (Marzec and Pietsch, 2012; Widess, 1973). Several
attempts were made to resolve the base of the Morrow B sand in the 3D surface seismic
using complex trace analysis, producing neural networks, assessing wavelet doubles and
interference, and isolating the frequency of the formation.

3.4.1 Complex Trace Analysis

Complex attributes displays can be used to delineate thin beds in seismic data
(Robertson and Nogami, 1984). They decompose the seismic signal into functions that
distinguish amplitude information from angular information, such as phase and frequency
by the Fourier transform (Robertson and Nogami, 1984; Taner et al., 1977). The complex
attributes amplitude envelope, instantaneous frequency, and instantaneous phase were
extracted from the 3D surface seismic cube for thin bed analysis.
The amplitude envelope attribute measures the total instantaneous energy of the
complex trace and it is independent of phase. This attribute may detect lateral variations
in bed thickness, in which the thinning bed changes the interference of reflections (Taner
et al., 1977). Beds with a lack of constancy could indicate a thinning or discontinuous bed
(Taner et al., 1977). When applied to a wedge model, half period tuning produces a high
amplitude anomaly in this attribute as a result of constructive interference (Robertson and
Nogami, 1984). The high amplitude will fall off monotonically as the bed pinches out
(Robertson and Nogami, 1984). Instantaneous bandwidth measures the absolute value of
the time derivative of the amplitude envelope, or the rate of relative amplitude change
(Barnes, 1993).
Instantaneous frequency displays the frequency patterns that characterize a
composite reflection constructed of a series of reflections from closely spaced reflectors

32
(Taner et al., 1977; Gochioco, 1991). According to the wedge model study by Robertson
and Nogami (1984), at one period thickness, there is a frequency anomaly in the center of
the bed followed abruptly by a transition to a low frequency value. This pattern
reemerges as the bed thins to the tuning thickness (Robertson and Nogami, 1984).
Finally, instantaneous phase is a good indicator of coherency and continuity
(Taner et al., 1977; Robertson and Nogami, 1984). This means that pinchouts,
discontinuities, and other lateral changes are easily visualized in this attribute.

3.4.2 Neural Networks

The attributes mentioned in the above subsection were used in several neural
network models in an attempt to combine datasets to visualize geologically significant
information. An unsupervised neural network was used. This method detects trends in the
input attributes and outputs a reorganized cluster attribute. The intent was to determine if
any combination of attributes would present additional information not obvious in
individual datasets.

3.4.3 Thin Bed Effects on Amplitude

There are some tuning effects thin beds have on the amplitude information from
the seismic. High amplitude anomalies, or bright spots, could indicate constructive
interference resulting from reflections from the thin bed. Doublets, phenomena where a
seismic reflection splits, could also result from a series of thin bed reflections (Gochioco,
1991). A previous interpretation of the Morrow B sand by Czoski (2014) distinguished
the thin bed by interpreting low amplitude lenses resembling sand packages within the
composite reflection. This was done in a much higher resolution VSP survey (Czoski,
2014).
Gamma ray logs from 166 wells were displayed within the depth-domain 3D
seismic cube. Seismic intersections at each well were observed, where at the Morrow B
interval the formation thickness and any tuning effect in the seismic amplitude was
recorded. An attempt to determine if there existed some correlation between formation
thickness and possible tuning effects was made.
There was no significant relationship to any of the tuning effect characteristics
and bed thickness. Low amplitude lenses were not as ubiquitous throughout the volume
as they were in Czoski’s (2014) research. Doublets did occur at most well locations,
however doublets could also be a result of poor signal-to-noise ratio and do not
necessarily indicate a thin bed effect.

3.4.4 Iso-frequency Volumes

Spectral decomposition software was not available for thin bed tuning in this
research. Instead, iso-frequency volumes extracted from the seismic at the frequency of
the Morrow B sand, which could potentially aid in a more accurate interpretation of the
top and base of the thin bed were generated. Three wavelets with varying frequency
bandwidth were convolved with reflectivity coefficients from wells #13-10A and #32-8
by Schlumberger. It was determined that a frequency greater that 100 Hz was needed

33
with far angle stack, unavailable for this research, to resolve the thin bed reservoir
(George el-Kaseeh, personal communication, 2015). The 3D surface seismic does not
contain high enough frequency content at the depth of the reservoir. Iso-frequency
volumes extracted from 100 to 125 Hz contained no data.
CHAPTER 4

RESULTS

4.1 Velocity Model and Horizon Model

Initially, the velocity model was constructed by tying only the #13-10A well
(Figure 4.1), and then the time-depth function at the #13-10A well was applied to the
entire field. Visually, the tie is of good quality. For a check of the quality, the output
interval velocity is compared to the input interval velocity. There are no outstanding
differences in the logs, so this was considered a good tie.

Figure 4.1: Results of the #13-10A well tie. Track 1 is the bulk density log (blue) and the
calibrated sonic log (black). These are multiplied to produce an acoustic impedance log.
Track 2 is the reflection coefficient log. Track 3-5 show the synthetic seismogram

34
centered in between seismic data adjacent to the well. Track 6 displays the input interval
velocity (red) and the output interval velocity (blue). Track 7 is the drift curve.

The success of the velocity model depends on how well the domain conversion
fits time-domain data in the depth domain using the time-depth functions calculated from
well ties. The goodness of fit was determined by fitting the depth-converted horizon picks
to the depth-domain well top picks as well as comparing velocity logs to the velocity
model output velocities.
The velocity model resulting from the #13-10A well tie was not ideal. Unless the
entire field is laterally homogeneous and exhibits the same velocity profile as it does at
the #13-10A well, then the well-tie would not be applicable as distance from the #13-10A
well increases. This was apparent in the initial model (Figure 4.2), where there was a
clear misfit between the depth-converted horizon picks and the depth-domain well tops in
the eastern half of the field. The misfit indicated that the eastern half of the field had a
different velocity profile than the western half of the field. To produce a better-fit model,
another well tie had to be performed on the east half of the field using well #32-8 (Figure
4.3).

35
Figure 4.2: Looking northeast at a depth-converted, arbitrary seismic inline and crossline
intersection from a previous velocity model. The green surface is the top of the Morrow
shale. The points near the surface are well top picks of the Morrow shale formation.
There is a decent fit around the #13-10A well in the west half of the field, where the
time-depth function was created. However, there is a poor fit near the #32-8 well in the
eastern half of the field where the surface of the Morrow shale is 200 ft above the
formation top picks.

36
Figure 4.3: Results of the #32-8 well tie. Track 1 is the bulk density log (blue) and the
calibrated sonic log (black). These are multiplied to produce an acoustic impedance log.
Track 2 is the reflection coefficient log. Tracks 3-5 show the synthetic seismogram
bounded on either side by seismic data adjacent to the well. The green lines indicate
where stretching, squeezing, or anchoring was applied. Track 6 displays the input interval
velocity (red) and the output interval velocity (blue). Track 7 is the drift curve.

The results from the #32-8 well tie are less favorable than the #13-10A well tie,
although visually the well-tie appears to be good. Note the separation in the output and
input interval velocities in Track 6 of Figure 4.3. This is an effect of stretching and
squeezing the synthetic seismic, which was not applied at the #13-10A well. Also, the
density curves for the #32-8 well are not as good quality as the #13-10A density curves,
which were conditioned and edited by Schlumberger. Note that the bulk density curve in
the first track (Figure 4.3) does not resemble the inverse of the sonic curve. However,
despite the weaknesses in the #32-8 well tie, when the resulting time-depth relationship
was included, it markedly improved the velocity model results (Figure 4.4).

37
Figure 4.4: The final velocity model results, looking northeast and upward at a depth-
converted, arbitrary seismic inline and crossline intersection. Each point corresponds to a
well top at the formations for which their respective surfaces are interpreted. The top of
the Wellington formation is red, the base of the Chase formation is yellow, the top of the
Tonkawa formation is green, and the top of the Morrow shale is purple.

The final velocity model used the #13-10A and #32-8 well ties. Also, a well top
correction was applied in which the depth-converted surfaces were snapped to the well
top points where the formation is picked in depth. Figure 4.4 shows that the depth-
converted surfaces intersect the well top points, demonstrating a good fit in the depth-
domain. This is displayed graphically in Figure 4.5, in which a velocity log was
calculated by inverting the #13-10A compressional sonic log and then comparing it to the
velocity curve produced by the velocity model. Ideally, the velocity model curve would
fit the general trend of the well’s velocity log. The Linvel velocity model is gross
approximation of interval velocities, so there were some discrepancies in the relationship
between the well log and the model. Since the Linvel velocity modeling method applies a
linear velocity increase with depth, velocity curve fits poorly where there is little horizon
control, such as between the ground surface and base of the Chase group. It is important
to note that since the physics of compaction vary with different lithologies, the Linvel
velocity model tends to break down where formations contain layers that are too

38
geologically distinct (Robein, 2003). This has introduced some vertical distortion of the
depth-converted seismic data in the Wellington-Chase group intervals. However, the
target interval does not exhibit the distortion and has adequate surface control. Not all of
the formations along the wells were used for the velocity model due to difficulty in
interpretation, or lack of time-depth relationships at thin intervals. For example, the thin
Morrow B sand interval was not included in the velocity model as it did not contain a
time-depth relationship, but an arbitrary sub-Morrowan reflection was used instead.

39
Figure 4.5: The velocity model’s velocity profile (blue) displayed over the velocity log
calculated from the #13-10A sonic log (red). The blue curve generally fits the trends of
the red curve. Note the change in velocity at the interfaces of the different formation tops
(horizontal dashed lines).

40
To accommodate for the limitations of the Linvel velocity model calculations, a
well top correction was applied. Table 4.1 shows the initial and corrected instantaneous
velocity maps with their residual maps for each surface. Figure 4.6 shows the
corresponding color legends for the maps in Table 4.1. Note, some of the velocity values
in Table 4.1 are negative. This is the result of the model calculating 𝑉! from the seismic
reference datum, or where 𝑧 = 0, and not from the top of the surfaces delineating layers.
Thus, the value for 𝑉! will be much lower than the layer velocities, resulting in negative
values in some cases. There were no holes or spikes in the corrected instantaneous
velocities. This indicated that the correction was smooth and all problematic well top data
was corrected or removed.

Table 4.1: Velocity Maps for Velocity Model Surfaces and Well Top Correction
Formation V0 V0 Corrected Residual

Wellington
top

Chase base

Douglas top

Tonkawa
top

Tonkawa
base

Kansas City
top

41
Table 4.1 (continued)
Marmaton
top

Thirteen
Finger top

Morrow top

Sub-
Morrow
surface

Figure 4.6: Color legends corresponding to the velocity and residual maps in Table 4.1.

42
The velocity model allowed for depth conversion of fault and horizon
interpretations picked in the time-domain. All interpretable formation boundaries were
converted and input into a horizon model for building a structural framework. Petrel’s
structural framework processes model complex fault relationships with the horizon
surfaces, in which the horizons also controlled the structure of geologic zones and
physical laws. Figure 4.7 displays the horizon model with zones. The zones provide a 3D
area for which lithofacies properties were populated in the final geologic model.

Figure 4.7: Looking northeast at the preliminary horizon model. Each color is a zone that
conforms to different geologic units controlled by the interpreted horizons. This provides
part of the framework that was used for the final comprehensive geologic model.

4.2 Fault Modeling and Project Implications

Nine faults that control the structure of the Morrow B formation were interpreted.
Figure 4.8 is a map of these faults in the Farnsworth Unit. With the exception of fault 6,
all faults intersect both the Morrow B sand reservoir the Thirteen Finger limestone

43
caprock. All of the fault interpretations were converted to a fault model in Petrel (Figure
4.8), wherein intersecting faults are connected and the user can create structurally and
geometrically correct faults. The fault model was incorporated into the fine-scale
lithofacies-based geomodel. The structure and physical properties of the fault planes are
anticipated to significantly affect future property and simulation models and improve
understanding of subsurface flow.
All present models, calculations, and estimations derived from the interpreted
fault planes assume that the Farnsworth Unit contains the entirety of the visible faults.
These faults are possibly much more laterally extensive, but the interpretations were
limited to the extent of the seismic survey. This model also assumes there are no smaller
fracture networks near the faults, because the fault interpretations were limited to the
vertical resolution of the 3D surface seismic survey. The power-law scaling relationship
of seismically resolvable faults requires higher numbers of similar, but much smaller
fractures in the damage zones. This implies the Pennsylvanian subsurface is highly
fractured in the vicinity of the interpreted faults.

Figure 4.8: Map view showing the faults within the Farnsworth Unit (outlined in blue) at
the Morrow level. Township and range are outlined in light gray.

44
4.2.1 Fault History

Faulting in the Farnsworth Unit seems to closely resemble the nearby Wichita
megashear (Figure 4.9), a major sinistral strike-slip fault system in the foreland of the
Amarillo-Wichita Mountain Front in the southern Anadarko Basin (Evans, 1979;
Harding, 1985). The Wichita megashear experienced vertical block movement during
crustal shortening and uplift that was most pronounced in the early Atokan time (Evans,
1979; Higley, 2014). This was followed in post-Atokan time by left-lateral movement
(Evans, 1979). The axis of shear for the Wichita megashear is west-northwest to east-
southeast (Evans, 1979). Compressional and tensional structures exist at the megashear
where the fault diverges from the regional principal stress, and where the fault is parallel
to the regional stress, only vertical displacement can be clearly observed (Evans, 1979).

Figure 4.9: Wichita megashear (shaded region) trending along the Southern Oklahoma
aulacogen (striped region) between the Ouachita and Cordilleran orogenic belts. The
Farnsworth Unit’s approximate location is indicated by the red point. Modified from
Budnik (1986).

Faults 1-5 in Figure 4.8 are interpreted as part of a sinistral wrench fault system.
Wrench faulting is defined by Sylvester (1988) as a deep-seated subvertical strike-slip
fault that involves torsion of the fault plane. No laterally cross-cutting features were
resolved, such as fluvial channels, to constrain the slip orientation. The following strike-
slip interpretations are based on apparent structures where fault planes deflect. Thus, the
wrench fault system hypothesis is a non-unique solution for the fault geometry
constructed from the 3D surface seismic survey.

45
In a wrench fault regime, Fault 3 appears to be the principal displacement zone
(PDZ) (Figure 4.10), a vertical, linear master strike-slip fault with local deformation at
restraining and releasing bends (Wu et al., 2009; Sylvester 1988). Although Fault 3 is a
strike-slip fault, Figure 4.10 suggests that there is some vertical displacement as the
elevation of the reflections decreases from north to south. Previously, in well top studies,
this feature was regarded as a depositional feature, such as the edge of the paleovalley.
However, the feature is prominent much deeper than the Morrowan deposits, which
would suggest that this feature is structural. This might indicate that Fault 3 has some
component of vertical slip due to accommodating flexural bending of the upper
lithosphere during Pennsylvanian crustal shortening (Steve Cather, personal
communication, 2015). In which case, Fault 3 may be considered an oblique strike-slip
fault.

Figure 4.10: North-south seismic cross sectional view of Fault 3 (subvertical green line).
The vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the Marmaton Group, the top of
the Thirteen Finger limestone, and top of the Morrow B sand are displayed to illustrate
cross-cutting relationships. The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map
by a yellow line.

46
In the eastern half of the field, Fault 3 is observed to bend northward and intersect
Fault 4 (Figure 4.8). Fault 4 is interpreted as the north bounding normal fault of a graben
bounded in the south by Fault 5, a normal fault that exhibits a synformal structure (Figure
4.11). This feature identifies Faults 3 to 5 as part of a wrench fault system, in which
subvertical extensional features are characteristic of wrench tectonics (Harding, 1985;
Sylvester 1988; Cunningham and Mann, 2007; Wu et al, 2009). In this case where an
extensional structure exists, the bend is defined as a releasing bend (Cunningham and
Mann, 2007). The releasing bend comprised of the graben accommodates extension and
therefore indicates there is a localized transtensional deformation in the northeast of the
Farnsworth Unit (Cunningham and Mann, 2007). The normal faults would adopt some
shear motion from the PDZ, especially since the graben is subparallel to Fault 3
(Cunningham and Mann, 2007). This feature resembles a negative flower structure, in
which fault blocks obliquely move apart by normal separation and typically bound a
graben structure (Harding, 1985). The releasing bend also provides a sense motion for the
strike-slip component of movement as left-lateral (Wu et al., 2009), similar to the Wichita
megashear. It is, however, atypical for the faults within a releasing bend to strike
subparallel to the PDZ, and releasing bends usually form step-overs at deflections (Laurel
Goodwin, personal communication, 2015). This unusual geometry may indicate that the
graben formed along pre-existing faults that were reactivated in Pennsylvanian. If the
faults are reactivated pre-existing faults, more evidence of displacement should be
apparent (Laurel Goodwin, personal communication, 2015). It is also worth noting that
releasing bends are typically areas of highly fractured rock and tend to transmit fluid
through high vertical permeability fracture zones (Cunningham and Mann, 2007;
Cartwright et al., 2007).

47
Figure 4.11: North-south seismic cross sectional view of the graben structure bounded by
Fault 4 (magenta line) and Fault 5 (light green line). The vertical axis is in time (ms).
Horizons for the top of the Marmaton Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone,
and top of the Morrow B sand are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting relationships. The
location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map by a yellow line.

In the western half of the field, there exists a fold-like structure that strikes
roughly normal to the PDZ. There is evidence that suggests this structure is the result of
lateral fault movement, however the apparent timing of structures and architecture may
alternatively suggest that the antiform is a result of convergent folding. Both hypotheses
for this structure are discussed.
From seismic attribute data, it seems that two parallel, subvertical faults bound the
fold structure (Figure 4.12). It is often difficult to interpret faults with lateral
displacement, and it is especially difficult to interpret fault displacement and relative age
where possible reactivation of older structures and plate collision deformation is
concerned (Ball et al., 1991). At the intersection of Faults 1 and 2 with Fault 3, there
exists no clear overprinting of fault deformation or offset, and the faults cross-cut the
same formations. Therefore, it is assumed that these three faults are concurrent. An
antiformal structure exists between the two fault planes, but it changes to a more

48
monoclinal to synformal feature in the south (Figure 4.13). The change in structural
character seems to be related to lateral bends in the fault planes, similar to the graben
structure resulting from bends in Fault 3. This suggests Faults 1 and 2 may also be
conjugate sets of strike-slip faults in a pure shear regime, with Fault 3 being the PDZ
(Sylvester, 1988). Conjugate strike-slip faults typically form in convergent stress
regimes, such as the dramatic Pennsylvanian crustal shortening that occurred in the
Anadarko Basin, in order to accommodate a brittle component of strain (Sylvester, 1988).
The complementary conjugate strike-slip faults would have to be right-lateral.

Figure 4.12: East-west seismic cross sectional view of Fault 1 (purple line) and Fault 2
(blue line). The vertical axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the Marmaton Group,
the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone, and top of the Morrow shale are displayed to
illustrate cross-cutting relationships. The location of the cross section is indicated in the
inset map by a yellow line.

49
Figure 4.13: East-west seismic cross sectional view of Fault 1 (purple line) and Fault 2
(blue line), south of the cross section in Figure 4.12. The vertical axis is in time (ms).
Horizons for the top of the Marmaton Group, the top of the Thirteen Finger limestone,
and top of the Morrow shale are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting relationships. The
location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map by a yellow line.

However, the geometry of Faults 1 and 2 is incongruent with typical definitions of


conjugate strike-slip faults, and the fault signature in the ant-track algorithm disappears
with less robust smoothing filters (Figures 3.8 and 3.11). This could be a result of
reactivating motion on faults that were once thrust faults in the Anadarko Basin (Ball et
al., 1991), or the fault signatures delineated by seismic attributes may be highlighting
lateral changes in lithology due to folding. Folds are also common structures associated
with left-lateral wrench faulting in the Anadarko Basin, but are more likely to be the
direct results of earlier southwest to northeast thrusting (Ball et al., 1991; Perry, 1989;
Evans 1979). Sinusoidal folding identified at other left-lateral wrench faults in the
Anadarko Basin occurs at restraining bends in the PDZ (Ball et al., 1991), opposite to the
releasing bend seen at the west graben structure. There is no significant deflection of the
PDZ to the north at the antiformal feature, however. Other Anadarko Basin folds also
exhibit near parallel axes that intersect the left-lateral shears at an angle of about 30o, and

50
they strike northwest to southeast (Evans, 1979). Examples of these folds include the Fort
Cobb anticline, the Cordell anticline, and the Sayre anticline (Ball et al., 1991; Evans,
1979). The fold seen in the Farnsworth Unit, however, intersects the PDZ at an angle of
nearly 90o and strikes northeast to southwest. If this feature is purely a fold not bounded
by conjugate strike-slip faults, then this may indicate the fold is a younger feature than
similar Anadarko folds, unrelated to earlier northeast to southwest thrusting.
Fault 6 is younger than the Morrow B sand and terminates just below the
reservoir, and the offset seems to locally control the topography of the reservoir (Figure
4.14). Like the other faults in the field, it is subvertical, and it exhibits down-to-the-east
displacement. The fault changes dip towards the north, where it has a reverse sense. This
geometry may be a result of regional uplift in late Mississppian reactivating normal faults
(Higley, 2014; Evans, 1979; Ball, 1991). Seismic attributes indicate Fault 6 is a south
boundary for a very coherent bright reflector that exhibits low acoustic impedance in a
deltaic shape. This might indicate a fault-bounded deltaic deposit of lower Morrowan
deposits exists below the reservoir. Faults 7, 8, and 9 are very similar to Fault 6, however,
they are much smaller faults with smaller offsets.

51
Figure 4.14: East-west seismic cross sectional view of Fault 6 (gold line). The vertical
axis is in time (ms). Horizons for the top of the Marmaton Group, the top of the Thirteen
Finger limestone, and top of the Morrow shale are displayed to illustrate cross-cutting
relationships. The location of the cross section is indicated in the inset map by a yellow
line.

4.2.2 Fault Displacement and Moment Magnitude

The presence of pre-existing faults in a CO2 sequestration reservoir has


implications for increasing the risk for inducing seismicity. Small to moderate
earthquakes associated with CO2 sequestration and storage projects threaten the integrity
of the caprock (Zoback and Gorelick, 2012). Laboratory experiments show that a few
millimeters of slip are capable of increasing permeability through the caprock (Zoback
and Gorelick, 2012). Centimeters of slip are capable of creating permeable hydraulic
pathways in a caprock (Zoback and Gorelick, 2012), through which stored CO2 could
migrate out of the reservoir, resulting in storage failure and implications for future

52
commercial projects. Additional slip could result in an induced event of M~6 or more, in
which the project risks damage to property and possibly human life (Zoback and
Gorelick, 2012).
Observed earthquake activity from producing and injecting fluid in the central
U.S. has increased dramatically over the past few years (Figure 4.15) (Ellsworth, 2013).
Over 300 M ≥ 3 earthquakes occurred in the central and eastern U.S. between 2010 and
2012, whereas previously, the average rate of earthquakes was 21.2 every year
(Ellsworth, 2013). A study by Boone (2014) shows similar trends in Oklahoma, where
most of the seismicity, which is possibly related to injection well activity, originates from
Anadarko Basin structures. The majority of the Oklahoma earthquakes are smaller than
M ~ 3, and are considered too small to be felt by humans (Boone, 2014). The largest of
these injection-induced earthquakes was a M ~ 5.7 in 2011 (Keranen et al., 2014).

Figure 4.15: Cumulative count of earthquakes of M ≥ 3 in central and eastern U.S. from
1967-2012 (red line). The dashed line represents the long-term rate of 21.2 earthquakes
per year. The inset is a map showing locations of these earthquakes. From Ellsworth,
2013.

The Farnsworth Unit reservoir is a pressure maintenance project; however, it is


overpressured relative to its initial state. CO2 continues to be injected into the

53
overpressured reservoir for enhanced oil recovery and storage. Faults can cause local
spikes in pressure within a reservoir, even when an equivalent amount of fluids to those
being injected are removed. Since inducing a slip event on one of the faults is a
possibility, the moment magnitudes for earthquakes of different displacements were
calculated for a “worst case” scenario (Figure 4.16). The moment magnitudes are
calculated as;

! (8)
𝑀! = 𝑙𝑜𝑔!" 𝑀! − 6 ,
!

where 𝑀! is the seismic moment measured in Nm. This is defined as;

(9)
𝑀! = 𝜇𝐴𝐷 ,

where 𝜇 (kg/ms2) is the shear modulus, 𝐴 is the surface area (m2) of the interpreted fault
plane, and 𝐷 is the vertical displacement (m) on the fault, in which the maximum is
estimated from amplitude offset in the 3D surface seismic. The shear modulus was
calculated from the well logs using the simple equation;

𝜇=
!
, (10)
∆! ∆! !

where 𝜌 is the average density (g/cm3) measured from the top and bottom of the fault,
and ∆𝑡 ∆𝑧  is the average shear sonic value (ms/m) from the top and bottom of the
fault. This model makes several assumptions: (1) when a fault ruptures, there is slip along
the entire length of the fault, (2) the displacement estimated from amplitude offset
represents the maximum displacement, and (3) density and velocity are vertically and
laterally homogenous. Faults do not typically rupture along the entirety of the fault plane,
nor do their present offsets represent a single slip event, but rather represent a
culmination of several smaller slip events. It is because assumptions (1) and (2) are
maximum estimates of displacements and surface areas that the results are referred to as a
“worst case” scenario.

54
Figure 4.16: Plot of potential moment magnitude with displacement in meters displayed
in log scale for each of the faults in Figure 4.8. The orange shaded area indicates
displacement measurements comparable to the M ~ 3 earthquakes in Oklahoma.

In Boone’s study (2014), the majority of earthquakes likely resulting from


subsurface fluid injection in Oklahoma from 2010 to 2012 was a M ~ 2 to M ~ 3 with a
maximum M ~ 5.7 (Keranen et al., 2014). Figure 4.16 illustrates the predicted
magnitudes for different fault displacements. The orange shaded region highlights a range
of displacements typical for induced fault slip at the faults in central. According the plot
in Figure 4.16, a centimeter of slip on faults in the Farnsworth Unit could produce an
earthquake of M ~ 3-4, depending on the size of the fault plane. These earthquakes would
be perceptible to humans, but not dangerous, considering that the field is located in a
sparsely populated rural area. A decimeter of slip could produce earthquakes of M ~ 4-
5.5, which would move some furniture around, and could be slightly damaging to weaker
infrastructure. As fault slip approaches 1 to 10 meters of slip, faults would produce
earthquakes as large as M ~ 6.5, which would significantly damage infrastructure and
pose a threat to human life. The plotted lines terminate at maximum displacement,
assumed to be the estimated displacement from the seismic, which is an overestimate of
the maximum displacement on the fault planes.
The range of earthquake magnitudes estimated in the shaded region of the model
in Figure 4.16 for fault displacements seen on the Oklahoma induced events coincide
with the recorded magnitudes of the induced events between 2008 and 2013 (Boone,
2014; Keranen et al., 2014). However, the slip on the faults in central Oklahoma due to

55
wastewater injection occurs in the deep Cambrian-Ordovician Arbuckle Group, a
dolomitized carbonate, and the Precambrian basement (Keranen et al., 2014). These rock
units are much deeper in the Anadarko Basin and more rigid than the Morrow B
sandstone reservoir, thus the shear modulus would be greater for the Oklahoma
earthquake measurements than the Farnsworth Unit earthquake estimates. This implies
that earthquakes induced at the Farnsworth Unit would probably exhibit smaller
magnitudes than the measured earthquakes in central Oklahoma for a given offset.

4.2.3 Comments on Fluid Transmissibility

Aside from inducing seismic events, pre-existing seismically resolvable faults that
intersect both the CO2 reservoir and the caprock have implications for the integrity of the
Thirteen Finger caprock by providing pathways for vertical fluid flow out of the
reservoir. At present, there is no evidence to suggest there are hydrocarbons of the same
type found in the Morrow B reservoir in any overlying strata, suggesting that the faults
have not previously acted as conduits through the Thirteen Finger limestone. However,
by injecting CO2 at high pressures, the conditions on which a fault would behave as a
conduit or seal may change.
There are a few major controls on whether a fault behaves as a conduit. Static
permeability of fault rocks, bed juxtaposition, and slip behavior (Cartwright et al., 2007)
are important factors in determining if a fault will transmit fluid above the sealing
lithology. If the damage zones exhibit higher permeability than the caprock, they will act
as a conduit (Cartwright et al., 2007). This is dependent of the composition and physical
properties of the fault gouge, which typically has lower permeability than surrounding
rock (Cartwright et al., 2007). The shale gouge ratio (SGR), or the percentage of shale or
clay in a slipped interval, was estimated for the portion of the faults cutting through the
Morrow shale overlying the Morrow B sand (Table 4.2) by the method illustrated in
Figure 4.17. According to Yielding et al. (1997), a SGR of 25% to 30% is required for a
fault to behave as an adequate seal. The lowest SGR estimated in Table 4.2 is 29%
suggesting that all of the faults in the field have a high enough SGR to impede fluid
migration through the fault plane or above the Thirteen Finger limestone sealing
lithology. Also, at the faults, the Morrow B sand reservoir is either juxtaposed with the
Morrow shale or Thirteen Finger limestone, indicating that if SGRs were low enough to
allow flow across the faults, the fluid would be structurally trapped against low
permeability formations that have provided the stratigraphic trap for hydrocarbon
resources. Finally, inducing slip on faults could affect the conditions that determine a
fault’s potential for transmitting fluid. During an earthquake, a fault could act as a valve
and release fluid from a reservoir in contact with the fault (Cartwright et al., 2007).

56
Figure 4.17: SGR algorithm used for the estimation of SGR for each fault intersecting the
Morrow B sands in Table 4.2. From Yielding et al. (1997).

Table 4.2: Shale Gouge Ratio for Each Fault within the Morrow shale
Fault Throw (ft) SGR (%)

1 68 89

2 89 68

3 123 49

4 208 29

5 103 59

7 83 73

8 143 42

9 79 76

4.3 Morrow B Reservoir Characterization

The top and base of the Morrow B sand formation was not accurately constrained
by interpretations of the 3D surface seismic data. However, it was successfully picked

57
from the 2D crosswell tomography survey (Figure 4.18), a survey with a much higher
vertical resolution survey comparable to gamma ray log resolution. The Morrow B sand
was interpreted in time using the same #13-10A well tie method that was used to interpret
all horizons on the 3D surface seismic. This was used as a reference for correlating thin
bed evidence from 3D surface seismic data and its derivatives to a zone where the
discontinuous thin formation was known to exist, but the results were inconclusive.

Figure 4.18: Looking northwest at the 2D crosswell tomography survey with Morrow B
sand interpretations (vertically exaggerated 25x). The top of the formation is yellow and
the base is green. The #13-10A well is in orange. The green points along the well are the
top and base Morrow B sand well top picks.

The Morrow B formation can also be characterized with well tops. Figure 4.19 is
an isopach map based on well top data for the top and base of the Morrow B sand. It
shows that the Morrow B sand is thickest in the northwest corner and east half of the field
where thickness approaches 60 ft (purple), or near a half period of the dominant seismic
wavelet. Thin bed effects are expected to become visible in seismic attributes away from
these half period thick zones. It is worth noting that the isopach map is unreliable where
there is little or no well control, namely in the center of the field where the sand
seemingly pinches out as well as the edges of the unit boundary.

58
Figure 4.19: Isopach map showing the thickness in feet of the Morrow B reservoir within
the Farnsworth Unit (white). Township and range is outline in light gray. Contours are 5
ft interval. (Dylan Rose-Coss, personal communication, 2015).

A combination of complex trace attributes were chosen for their ability to image
discontinuous, fluid saturated lithologies. Figures 4.20, 4.21 and 4.22 display the
amplitude envelope, instantaneous frequency, and instantaneous phase attributes,
respectively. High amplitude anomalies are expected for beds around one half period, and
those anomalies should decay around a quarter period, as illustrated in the wedge model
(Figure 4.23) by Robertson and Nogami (1984). In Figure 4.20, high amplitudes do not
seem to correlate to the areas where sand is thicker. There are high amplitude values in
the north of the central field where the sand is exceptionally thin, suggesting amplitude
may not be reliable for picking thin beds. Instantaneous frequency complements
amplitude envelope. Bed thinning to tuning frequency results in anomalously high
instantaneous frequency values. In Figure 4.21, it appears that the clustering of high
values corresponds to the tuning thickness of about 30 ft mapped in Figure 4.19.
However, comparing it to the interpretations made in the 2D crosswell tomography
survey, there is no clear correlation between the interpreted sand lenses and high
instantaneous frequency in the 3D attribute. Finally, the instantaneous phase attribute
(Figure 4.22) is sensitive to bed terminations (Robertson and Nogami, 1984). At thinning
beds, there might be some color gradient associated with a pinchout, but it may not be
useful in interpreting a continuous thin layer. The instantaneous phase is mostly constant
throughout the Morrow B sand surface. Again, comparing the results in Figure 4.22 to the
2D crosswell tomography survey showed no correlation of phase change in the 3D
surface seismic

59
Figure 4.20: Amplitude envelope attribute draped over the top surface of the Morrow B
sand. Relatively high amplitudes are shown in red. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach
contours.

Figure 4.21: Instantaneous frequency attribute draped over the top surface of the Morrow
B sand. Higher values are shown in orange to yellow. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach
contours.

60
Figure 4.22: Instantaneous phase attribute draped over the top surface of the Morrow B
sand. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours.

61
Figure 4.23: Wedge models showing tuning effects with a) seismic cross section of the
wedge model, b) amplitude envelope, c) instantaneous phase, and d) instantaneous
frequency. Modified from Robertson and Nogami (1984).

Since none of the 3D seismic attributes revealed any geologically significant data
individually, different combinations were mixed on a geobody interpretation probe and
input into a train estimation model, which produces a neural net that can predict patterns
from input data. Probes mix attributes together to aid in identifying and interpreting

62
geobodies. The train estimation models analyze the different attributes and output any
significant mathematical trends.
The first geobody probe included all three complex attributes (Figure 4.24). It is
displayed in an RGB format where instantaneous frequency is red, envelope is green, and
instantaneous phase is blue. The results look very similar to the amplitude envelope
results in Figure 4.20. Next, only amplitude envelope and its complementary attribute
instantaneous frequency were mixed with a probe (Figure 4.25). Because geobodies with
high instantaneous frequency and higher amplitude envelope values are interesting, the
lower values for each were muted. This attribute has taken on characteristics similar to
those in the instantaneous frequency map in Figure 4.21. There is some correlation with
the isopach map where the yellow colors correspond to tuning thickness, however it is
not possible to delineate individual sand bodies.
Whereas the geobody surface probe merely mixes attributes together, train
estimation models derive relationships from different attributes and cluster them. Figures
4.26 and 4.27 display the neural network models. They display similar patterns to the
attributes. They both seem to be sensitive to the envelope attribute. These did not reveal
any new insight into the geometry of the Morrow B sand.

Figure 4.24: Geobody probe RGB mix of instantaneous frequency (red), amplitude
envelope (green), and instantaneous phase (blue) draped over the top surface of the
Morrow B sand. Instantaneous phase was muted since it is mostly constant and
dominated the probe. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach contours.

63
Figure 4.25: Geobody probe mix of instantaneous frequency and envelope draped over
the top surface of the Morrow B sand. Lower values for each were muted. Contours are
10 ft interval isopach contours.

64
Figure 4.26: Results of a neural net including instantaneous frequency, envelope, and
instantaneous phase draped over the top surface of the Morrow B sand. Contours are 10 ft
interval isopach contours.

65
Figure 4.27: Results of a neural net including instantaneous frequency and envelope
draped over the top surface of the Morrow B sand. Contours are 10 ft interval isopach
contours.

4.4 Fine-Scale Geologic Model

The stratigraphic and structural seismic interpretations provided the architecture


for the structural framework of a fine-scale geomodel that will be used for property
modeling and fluid migration simulations. The current iteration of the geomodel is based
on a 25 ft by 25 ft grid bounded by the seismic survey boundary. This is a higher
resolution than the 3D surface seismic survey, which has 82.5ft seismic bins. Fault and
horizon interpretations were edited to conform to these parameters. The 3D structural
framework was then populated with upscaled reservoir properties.
The geomodel extends from the base of the Wellington formation to an arbitrary
reflection below the Morrow B base (Figure 4.28). The Morrow B sand and the Thirteen
Finger limestone are the current targets of interest. Since the base of the Morrow B was
poorly constrained by the 3D surface seismic data alone, the original Morrow B top and
base interpretations were edited by Dylan Rose-Coss who hand contoured the surfaces so
they would fit the well top data at the well points. The Morrow B sand has characteristics
of braided stream deposits and is therefore laterally discontinuous. This is not reflected in
the geomodel, in which bed thinning probably related to pinchouts produced holes in the
grid fabric. Where the model had few layers, additional arbitrary surfaces were used for
better model control.

66
Figure 4.28: East-west cross sectional view of the current geomodel (Dylan Rose-Coss,
personal communication, 2015).

This geomodel includes interpreted faults that lie within the seismic survey
boundary (Figure 4.29). The interpreted planes were smoothed and clipped to more
closely resemble natural fault geometries by Dylan Rose-Coss. The addition of faults into
the model introduced significant warping to the grid fabric. To avoid distortion, the faults
were extended throughout the entire volume, but they are only “active” within layers that
the faults cross cut (Rose-Coss, personal communication, 2015).

67
Figure 4.29: Looking southeast at intersections of the 3D geomodel. The i and j
intersections display stratigraphic structure, as in Figure 4.28. The horizontal layer is the
Morrow B reservoir populated with porosity data (Figure 4.30). The vertical fence post
planes cutting through the Morrow B reservoir are the fault model. They extend to the
surface, but are only active within formations in which they cross-cut within the seismic
data (Dylan Rose-Coss, personal communication, 2015).

Aside from architecture, fine-scale heterogeneities also affect the dynamics of the
reservoir and fluid (Ampomah et al., 2015). The model was populated with fine-scale
reservoir properties, such as porosity (Figure 4.30) and permeability (Figure 4.31) using
upscaling algorithms (Ampomah et al., 2015). The west and east halves of the Farnsworth
unit exhibit very different physical properties, as illustrated in the velocity changes in
Figure 4.2, core data, and production data. No porosity-permeability trends were
observed when plotted for the full field; however, significant trends emerged when data

68
was plotted separately for each half of the field (William Ampomah, personal
communication, 2015). Upscaling algorithms were designed for each half of the
Farnsworth unit (Ampomah et al., 2015) and applied to the entire field using a blending
algorithm (William Ampomah, personal communication, 2015).

Figure 4.30: Top surface of the Morrow B sand from the geomodel displaying the
porosity property generated by William Ampomah. Porosity values are measured from 0
to 16 percent.

69
Figure 4.31: Top surface of the Morrow B sand from the geomodel displaying the
permeability property (William Ampomah, personal communication, 2015). Permeability
is measured in millidarcies. There is a clear difference between the lower permeability
east half of the field and the much more permeable west half. There seems to be some
permeability trend in the west half where faults impede fluid flow.

70
CHAPTER 5

DISCUSSION

The SWP is constrained to ensure 99% storage permanence using the methods
and technologies presented in this study (NETL, 2013). The architecture of the
Farnsworth Unit contains several features that affect oil production, fluid migration
through the reservoir, and implicate the successful long-term storage of CO2.
Characterizing the reservoir and caprock system using the 3D surface seismic survey
provided the 3D seismically resolvable details to be included into a fine-scale geomodel.
Stratigraphic interpretations, using well top data and seismic interpretation,
illustrate the topographic fabric resulting from deposition, faulting, and deformation
(Figure 5.1). The Morrow B sand and overlying Thirteen Finger limestone have several
seismically resolvable features that impede fluid flow. The oblique strike-slip fault, the
PDZ for the wrench system, exhibits approximately 100 ft of decrease in elevation from
the north side of the field to the south. To the east, the graben structure is clearly visible
as a dramatically steep, rhombic depression. In the west, the antiformal feature observed
between the two dextral conjugate strike-slip faults clearly stand out, as well as its
transition to a monoclinal or synformal structure at the southern termination of the faults.

Figure 5.1: Top surface map of the Morrow B sand. Contour lines are every 50 ft.

Figures 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 show an example of the fault feature affecting fluid flow
for EOR. Figure 5.2 and 5.3 display production data as of the summer of 2014. The
bubbles indicate the magnitude of fluid either injected or produced at respective wells.

71
There is a trend in which producing wells are not producing as much fluid as predicted
(Reid Grigg, personal communication, 2015). According to the data in Figure 5.4, CO2 is
injected just to the east and west of the antiform-synform between Faults 1 and 2. This
has implications for efficient sweeping of hydrocarbons toward producing wells. For
instance, Faults 1 and 2 were found to have high SGRs that would suggest these faults
impede fluid flow across them. There is a clear magnitude difference between producers
and injectors across the interpreted fault planes. However, being seismically resolvable, it
is implied that there exists a damage zone at these faults containing small fractures. These
would provide fluid pathways as these damage zones are typically higher permeability
than surrounding material (Cartwright et al., 2007). This might explain why wells further
east from the fault structure produce far less than the wells nearby the faults, as the
fracture network away from the faults would be much less dense and therefore less
permeable. Also, offsetting reservoir sand will have impacts on efficiency of flow in
areas where the bed is discontinuous.

Figure 5.2: Map of the west of the Farnsworth Unit. The bubbles show the magnitude of
CO2 injected (yellow) and produced (green) at different wells. Fault traces for Faults 1-3
at the Morrow B level have been drawn over the bubble plot. Image courtesy of Reid
Grigg.

72
Figure 5.3: Map of the west of the Farnsworth Unit. The bubbles show the magnitude of
CO2 injected (yellow) and oil produced (red) at different wells. Fault traces for Faults 1-3
at the Morrow B level have been drawn over the bubble plot. Image courtesy of Reid
Grigg.

73
Figure 5.4: Map of the west of the Farnsworth Unit showing the faults present in the area
and well locations.

The architecture of the reservoir is clearly affecting fluid flow dynamics within
the reservoir. To better understand these dynamics, models will be produced to study
reservoir properties as a function of lateral heterogeneity, and in turn, to better predict
fluid migration. This will allow for more efficient recovery of hydrocarbon resources, for
maximizing the injection of CO2, and for monitoring plume movement.

74
CHAPTER 6

CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK

6.1 Conclusions

The integrity of the SWP’s large-scale CCUS experiment is dependent on


characterization of the CO2 reservoir and caprock system. The models and interpretations
presented in this study provide the structural framework for a geomodel that was used to
model reservoir properties and will be used to simulate fluid flow in the reservoir, and to
simulate caprock integrity, well-bore failure scenarios, and reactive transport modeling.
A well-formed and complete model is critical for modeling studies to understand and
mitigate risk while successfully storing CO2, and will be useful for evaluating induced
seismic hazards as well. Accomplishments and observations of this study are listed:

• Well ties to seismic fit well data into time-space for seismic horizon interpretation
and provided time-depth relationships with which to generate a velocity model.
• The Morrow B reservoir is below tuning thickness, and the base was unable to be
resolved by complex analysis, wavelet analysis, frequency isolation, or neural
networks.
• The velocity model converted time-domain seismic to the depth-domain for data
correlation with other datasets in the depth-domain, and it allowed stratigraphic
thicknesses to be measured.
• The initial velocity model shows that there is a vertical velocity difference
between the west and east halves of the field.
• Nine seismically resolvable faults were interpreted, eight of which intersect both
the reservoir and the primary caprock, which has implications for CO2 leakage
and inducing seismic events.
• By the fault scale power-law, the presence of seismically resolvable faults implies
the Pennsylvanian subsurface is highly fractured, which could locally impact oil
production and CO2 storage integrity.
• At the fault planes, SGRs are large, and the Morrow B reservoir is always
juxtaposed next to low-permeability sealing lithologies, which implies the faults
have and should continue to behave as structural traps for fluids.
• All structural and stratigraphic interpretations were combined to provide the
architectural framework for a fine-scale geomodel populated by rock properties.
• Preliminary rock property modeling and production data indicate the structures
interpreted in the 3D seismic data affect fluid flow within the reservoir.

6.2 Suggestions for Future Work

Faulting in the reservoir has many implications for the success of the SWP
experiment, as well as the geologic history. It is important to collect as much information
as possible about these structures as they will control fluid flow models and may provide
limits to fluid injection rates to avoid inducing significant seismic events. It would be

75
interesting to obtain core within a fault zone to better analyze the SGR, determine
porosity at and near the faults, and look for evidence of fracture zones. These small-scale
parameters will be important for fluid flow simulation as each affects the transmissibility
of fluid through the reservoir as well as the caprock. If the faults were cored, it is also
suggested that the core is investigated for evidence of previous fluid flow through the
fault plane. This may be important for determining the conditions at which a fault will
behave as a conduit.
Predictive modeling of earthquakes generated on the faults could be helpful in
determining more realistic expected moment magnitudes and displacements on each fault
than the values presented in Figure 4.15. They also would act as a hazard and risk
mitigation tool for determining the parameters at which injection rates and pressures
would trigger slip on a fault. Field operations can then be adjusted to avoid seismic
hazards.
The Morrow B reservoir was not adequately interpreted in the 3D surface
seismic survey. Forward modeling techniques using sand geometries corresponding to
braided streams—such as point bars, channel features, lateral accretionary packages, and
sand lenses—give the interpreter an idea of how those features will affect the seismic
wavelet and improve interpretation. This can also be applied to spectral decomposition, a
technique that is used to tune into the frequency spectra of a thin bed that has been
integrated into a single amplitude. Spectral decomposition clearly indicates channel
features and lateral discontinuities. Mapping channel systems in the Morrow B sand
might illuminate a more accurate sense of movement on faults by identifying channel
offset.

76
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APPENDIX A

PETERL 2013 DEFAULT PARAMETERS FOR SEISMIC ATTRIBUTES

The following are screenshots of default parameters for the different seismic
attributes used in fault interpretation. For more detail, please refer to the Petrel 2013 Help
Center manual, available in Schlumberger’s Petrel 2013 software package.

Figure A.1: Screenshot of the variance attribute default settings.

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Figure A.2: Screenshot of the variance attribute default settings

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Figure A.3: Screenshot of the ant-tracking attribute default settings for passive ant mode.

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Figure A.4: Screenshot of the ant-tracking attribute default settings for aggressive ant
mode.

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Geophysical Modeling and Structural Interpretation of a 3D Reflection Seismic Survey in
Farnsworth Unit, TX

By Ashley C. Hutton

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