S-Cube are developing a highly innovative and disruptive method of processing 3D seismic data, SAPIENT (Seismic Auto Processing and Inversion to Explore New Targets). Starting from raw field data, SAPIENT offers the potential to fully automate seismic data processing in an end-to-end data driven process, greatly reducing time-frames and removing the element of human bias that exists in current processing sequences.
To fully test and process a 3D seismic dataset though a conventional imaging sequence can take between six to twelve months. Processing the data in the depth domain, required for well planning, can add a further four to ten months, depending on the complexity of the subsurface.
By delivering fast and accurate images with the reliance on human bias removed, subsurface teams will have more time to work with the data and areas of greater uncertainty to develop a deeper understanding of the subsurface, therefore significantly de-risking prospects/leads/infill targets, leading to greater exploration, appraisal, and development drilling success rates.
In the North Sea, infrastructure led exploration wells have had a commercial success rate of 29% between 2015 and 2019 adding 750MBOE (equivalent to 6 month production) in the North Sea as a whole [ref.Westwood]. The new technology will be tested and applied to Magnus, the most northerly field in the North Sea, where improved seismic imaging could unlock further low cost drilling targets.
As industry pivots towards a sustainable energy future this technology has a key role to play in reducing subsurface uncertainty as depleted fields and new formations for hydrogen and CO2 storage are investigated. The reduced processing time and superior imaging of SAPIENT will help assess and validate targets quicker and will enable the monitoring of stored CO2 or hydrogen more effectively, with results now available in weeks between acquisition of data to visualisation of the movement of fluids within the reservoir.
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