To mitigate exploration risk in deepwater settings, subsurface analysis increasingly has to rely on integration of qualitative with quantitative techniques. To predict pay in turbidite sandstones, proven statistical and analytical methods can routinely be run on well and seismic inversion data. However, quantitative interpretation (QI) should begin with a responsible audit of available well logs and seismic data, succeeded by data conditioning, proceeding with quality control, and placing elastic attribute responses within their geologic context. To address these issues, we evaluate geologic controls on porosity change as manifested by overpressure and compaction on calibration and analysis of elastic attributes. Following calibration of seismic inversion data, we provide tutorial-style interpretations of deepwater clastic reservoirs from the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, to the Sabah trough, Borneo. Case study examples offer interpreters the potential to use workflows surrounding data mining in exploration or during field development. In our first example, a comparison of univariate statistics run on compressional- and shear-wave impedances and Poisson’s ratio is introduced to potentially data mine 3D seismic over turbidite fairways. Joint interpretation of P-wave and S-wave impedances is combined with innovative uses of bivariate statistical analysis for anomaly detection. Additionally, the geologic rationale of interpreting elastic relationships of calibrated attributes, such as Lambda Rho and Mu Rho, is discussed on the seismic scale of a single reservoir layer using a combination of statistical methods and rock physics. Here, qualitative interpretation, via application of principles from seismic stratigraphy and seismic geomorphology, ultimately unlocks ambiguity in rock-physics-driven, quantitative lithology determination, guiding application of QI routines toward correctly predicting the prevailing fluid type. Elastic calibration permits seismic lithofacies classification of Cretaceous turbidite sandstones deposited as middle to lower slope channels canyon-fill and basin-floor channel complexes.
- Received July 12, 2013.
- Revision received October 10, 2013.
- Accepted November 3, 2013.