Monitoring viscosity changes from time-lapse seismic attenuation: case study from a heavy oil reservoir

Malcolm, Alison and Shabelansky, Andrey H. and Fehler, Mike (2015) Monitoring viscosity changes from time-lapse seismic attenuation: case study from a heavy oil reservoir. Geophysical Prospecting, 63 (5). pp. 1070-1085. ISSN 1365-2478

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Heating heavy oil reservoirs is a common method for reducing the high viscosity of heavy oil and thus increasing the recovery factor. Monitoring of these viscosity changes in the reservoir is essential for delineating the heated region and controlling production. In this study, we present an approach for estimating viscosity changes in a heavy oil reservoir. The approach consists of three steps: measuring seismic wave attenuation between reflections from above and below the reservoir, constructing time-lapse Q and Q−1 factor maps, and interpreting these maps using Kelvin–Voigt and Maxwell viscoelastic models. We use a 4D relative spectrum method to measure changes in attenuation. The method is tested with synthetic seismic data that are noise free and data with additive Gaussian noise to show the robustness and the accuracy of the estimates of the Q-factor. The results of the application of the method to a field data set exhibit alignment of high attenuation zones along the steam-injection wells, and indicate that temperature dependent viscosity changes in the heavy oil reservoir can be explained by the Kelvin–Voigt model.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 12804
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Earth Sciences
Date: September 2015
Date Type: Publication
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