Dr. Johan ten Veen
- seismic interpretation
- structural geology
- petroleum geology
Decreasing potential for sizeable hydrocarbon discoveries in the traditional Permian and Triassic fairways has caused a shift of focus to exploration into less mature geological systems and to the development new play concepts. In that light, TNO and its E&P industry partners offer integrated fairway studies that, with the aid of basin modelling, can help define concepts for prospect identification.
The Netherlands, both on and offshore, is characterised by a high data density, with well data publicly available for most wells. To assess the regional exploration potential, these data must be compiled, digitised, quality checked and loaded into a geological interpretation and modelling software system. TNO and its partners have undertaken such studies on the Upper Jurassic and the Carboniferous and are initiating studies on the Late Cretaceous, pre-Westphalian and Plio-Pleistocene (shallow gas). On a field-scale stratigraphic resolution may be high and correlations straightforward but this is often constrained regionally, hampering exploration. To build accurate regional stratigraphic models requires the integration of various tools (e.g. sequence stratigraphy, palynology, chemostratigraphy).
Seismic interpretation is traditionally carried out on local or sub-regional scale but by evaluating seismic interpretations on a regional scale, supported by a regional stratigraphic well study, a more robust stratigraphic framework can be built. In addition, it allows for improved characterisation of the structural geology, which helps improve understanding the large-scale distribution of reservoir facies and hydrocarbon generation and migration. The results of biostratigraphic analysis of hydrocarbon wells are often difficult to integrate or compare but by reassessing and reinterpreting the original data a consistent biostratigraphic framework for improved stratigraphic resolution can be created. The same applies - data reassessment and reinterpretation - to the core descriptions available for many wells that give valuable information on the quality and heterogeneity potential reservoirs.
The integrated dataset is used to study the regional lateral and vertical evolution of the sedimentary system and the structural framework to identify areas that have hydrocarbon potential. From the database regional maps can be generated showing variations of e.g. stratigraphic thickness, net/gross percentage, source rock distribution, etc. These maps are used to study the controls on e.g. sediment supply-directions, reservoir distribution and sandstone connectedness, which may serve to build concepts for prospect identification. When supplemented with a basin modelling exercise dynamic aspects, such as timing of hydrocarbon generation and migration paths can be included as well. The main database includes, for example, seismic interpretation windows, correlation panels, thickness maps, etc. Interpretations can be added and personalised panels and maps generated.