Defining the 3D geometry of thin shale units in the Sleipner reservoir using seismic attributes

Ponfa Roy Bitrus, David Iacopini, Clare E Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Defining the 3D geometry and internal architecture of reservoirs is important for prediction of hydrocarbon volumes, petroleum production and storage potential. Many reservoirs contain thin shale layers that are below seismic resolution, which act as impermeable and semi-permeable layers within a reservoir. Predicting the storage volume of a reservoir with thin shale layers from conventional seismic data is an issue due to limited seismic resolution. Further, gas chimneys indicative of gas migration pathways through thin shale layers, are not easily defined by conventional seismic data. Additional information, such as borehole data, can be used to aid mapping of shale layers, but making lateral predictions from 1D borehole data has high uncertainty. This paper presents an integrated workflow for quantitative seismic interpretation of thin shale layers and gas chimneys in the Utsira Formation of the Sleipner reservoir. The workflow combines the use of attribute and spectral analysis to add resolution to conventional seismic amplitude data. Detailed interpretation of these analyses reveals the reservoirs internal thin shale architecture, and the presence of gas chimneys. The comprehensive interpretation of the reservoirs internal structure is used to calculate a new reservoir storage volume. This is done based on the distribution of sand and interpreted shale layers within the study area, for this active CO2 storage site.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-425
Number of pages21
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Early online date22 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Bibliographical note


The seismic interpretation and image processing was carried out in the SeisLab facility at the University of Aberdeen (sponsored by BG BP and Chevron). Seismic imaging analysis was performed using GeoTeric (ffA), and analysis of seismic amplitudes was performed in Petrel 2015 (Schlumberger). We would like to thank the NDDC (RG11766-10) for funding this research and Statoil for the release of the Sleipner field seismic dataset utilized in this research paper and also Anne-Kari Furre and her colleagues for their assistance. We also thank the editor, Alejandro Escalona and the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive and in depth comments that improved the paper.


  • seismic
  • reservoir
  • thin shale beds
  • seismic attributes
  • Utsira formation
  • co2 storage
  • Sleipner


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