Sharp Reflections set to revolutionise 4D QI capability through new Foundation Project V initiative

  • By pairing industry sponsors and academia, Sharp Reflections aims to create a robust 4D QI capability
  • The development programme will strengthen its proprietary PreStack Pro capabilities

Stavanger, Monday 9 May. Sharp Reflections, a global leader in quantitative seismic data analysis, has announced the launch of its Foundation Project V (FP-V) initiative. Titled ‘Quantitative tools for efficient 4D seismic analysis in PreStack Pro’, the collaborative R&D programme, which has support from nine energy sector operators, aims to establish PreStack Pro as the leading platform for time-lapse seismic analysis.

The new initiative builds on a successful R&D project on efficient 4D which created a 4D seismic data infrastructure, 4D post-migration seismic processing and 4D data display capabilities. With this infrastructure in place, Sharp Reflections now plans to ramp up their efforts and develop a complete solution for efficient analysis of pre-stack and multi-vintage 4D seismic data sets.

Over the coming years, Sharp Reflections will work closely with the FP-V partners to implement proven 4D quantitative seismic analysis methods and conduct ground-breaking research. The project will see the development of software tools to rapidly analyse production-induced changes in seismic travel times and amplitudes in pre-stack seismic data. Sharp’s team will test these methods on field datasets and integrate the new methods into sponsors’ workflows. The partners include:

  • ConocoPhillips
  • Equinor
  • ExxonMobil
  • Hess
  • Lundin
  • Petrobras
  • TotalEnergies
  • Vår Energi
  • Wintershall DEA

Outcomes will provide operators with a better understanding of subsurface fluid and pressure changes in reservoirs, and aid in their field management and production management decision making.

The 4D seismic data analysis tools include pre-stack timeshift estimation and analysis methods, as well as 4D inversion capabilities to detect reservoir property changes. These tools are augmented by new functionality for scenario modelling of the expected 4D response, and enhanced display tools for rapid visualization of maps of 4D seismic property changes across all 4D vintages using a multi-surface, multi-layer framework. Finally, to further boost efficiency in working with seismic data, the project will create improved data exchange capabilities in PreStack Pro compatible with the (Open Subsurface Data Universe) OSDU platform.

In a move that pairs industry with academia, Sharp Reflections will work closely with the world-renowned Edinburgh Time-Lapse Partnership (ETLP) at Heriot-Watt University. Sharp Reflections has joined the ETLP consortium as a sponsor. In addition to joining the consortium, Sharp Reflections is also providing PreStack Pro software to ETLP students for the development of creative and innovative 4D workflows.  Sharp have also created a student travel fund enabling more ETLP students to attend conferences.

Bill Shea, CEO, Sharp Reflections, said: “We strongly believe that there is significant potential to improve quantitative pre-stack 4D seismic analysis. This work will help interpretation teams efficiently analyse 4D data to make timely well placement decisions in fields with active drilling campaigns.

“This project pairs industry expertise with academic excellence, with the intention to deliver software that can make the most of extensive 4D data. By working with best-in-class partners, we can accelerate the development of new commercial software solutions. If the project is successful, we will significantly reduce the time required for 4D data analysis, while helping our clients extract more information from the data.

“We are excited to have commenced software development and foundational research with such a strong sponsorship group. We have exciting ambitions to be a global leader for time-lapse data analysis, and the enhancements delivered by this collaboration over the coming years will support this.”

Colin MacBeth, Professor and Head of the Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project (ETLP), said: “ETLP is excited to welcome Sharp Reflections to our sponsor group, and we look forward to working closely with them on this project. Their interest in collaborating recognizes the accrued years of research excellence and knowledge in 4D seismic at ETLP. We are looking forward to an active partnership, and to see our research make an impact in the 4D seismic world through yet another avenue. I am also pleased that Sharp Reflections created a PhD student travel fund, further increasing the exposure my PhD students have to the wider 4D seismic community, benefiting their research and career prospects.”

Since its commercial launch in 2010, PreStack Pro has evolved rapidly from a specialised tool for QC and processing of pre-stack gathers, to a powerful platform for quantitative seismic amplitude interpretation.

Its progress has centred around Sharp Reflections’ innovative foundation projects. Now in its fifth iteration, the initiative seeks to share development costs among partners, while developing expanded capabilities for the software architecture in a cost-effective way.

Foundation projects have delivered significant return on sponsor investment. To date, this has led to development of processing, interpretation and seismic inversion capabilities within PreStack Pro to meet the needs of the sector.

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