3D Seismic, Attribute-Assisted, Structural Interpretation for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production: Southwest Pennsylvania, Central Appalachian Basin
Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Geology and Geography
High quality 3D seismic data provides critical information vital to the delineation of structural fabrics and depositional facies, and it is therefore important to the development of ideas associated with structural and facies architecture and growth history of the Appalachian foreland basin. Traditional wiggle trace imagery is limited by its dominant frequency and low signal-to-noise ratio; while conventional seismic attributes, such as instantaneous amplitude, RMS and frequency methods are not effective at defining fracture intensity and orientation and spatial and temporal relations between faults and folds which are crucial in achieving the hydrocarbon exploration objective in the basin. To overcome these limitations advanced seismic attributes such as volumetric curvature, ant tracking and waveform model regression were applied in a multi-attribute analysis to increase the resolution of stratigraphic and structural features including geometries, orientations, boundaries and intensities of faulting, folding and fracturing. Saw-tooth forethrust to backthrust patterns and small-scale, intra-interval, shear zones or detachment faults were observed within the Devonian intervals. From these discontinuities, the primary stress orientation during the Devonian was defined at approximately 105° to 120° azimuth which may affect drilling orientations in the hydraulic fracturing process. This effort may be used as an analog for other shale plays as it demonstrates the importance of 3D seismic analysis to understanding the relationship between subsurface structural features and hydrocarbon systems, which are fundamental to the success of future exploration for and production of oil and gas, both conventional and unconventional, in the Appalachian Basin.
Donahoe, Thomas Bradley, "3D Seismic, Attribute-Assisted, Structural Interpretation for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production: Southwest Pennsylvania, Central Appalachian Basin" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4709.