D085 Introduction to Seismic Interpretation

Event Facts

  • 18 Oct. 2021
  • 19 Oct. 2021
  • 20 Oct. 2021
  • 21 Oct. 2021
  • 22 Oct. 2021
  • 25 Oct. 2021
  • 26 Oct. 2021
  • 27 Oct. 2021
  • 28 Oct. 2021
  • 29 Oct. 2021
Half-day sessions, starting in the mornings for the Americas and afternoons for Europe, Africa and Middle East. Any variation to this will be communicated in advance.
Event Code:
10 sessions
Rachel Newrick
Booking Status:
Good Availability
USD $4,645 (Exclusive of tax)

Course Facts

Course Code:
5 days
Virtual Classroom
4 Continuing Education Units
40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


Buissness Impact: This course will add value for petrotechnical professionals and support staff by providing a practical knowledge and a working understanding of the techniques and concepts used in the seismic interpretation process.

This course provides a thorough introduction to all aspects of seismic data, from the fundamentals of the seismic method to mapping and the use of seismic attributes. This long-standing foundational seismic course has added value for new hires and those switching to a seismic-based role, as well as for geo-techs and petroleum engineers. The course makes use of “real-world” examples of producing fields and basins around the world.

Duration and Training Method

A virtual classroom course divided into 10 webinar sessions (equivalent to a five-day classroom course), comprising lectures, discussion, case studies, and practical exercises to be completed by participants during and between sessions.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Explain fundamental aspects of seismic wave propagation, diffractions, and reflection criteria.
  2. Compare 2D and 3D seismic acquisition techniques; evaluate key survey requirements necessary to achieve project objectives.
  3. Assess the importance of key seismic data processing steps including datum and statics corrections, velocity analyses, migration, and depth imaging.
  4. Contrast 2D and 3D seismic data benefits, recognize common imaging pitfalls.
  5. Explain how prospect risk factors can influence project objectives and interpretation workflows.
  6. Demonstrate practical interpretation skills; construct and use synthetic seismograms, perform well-seismic ties, 2D line correlation, horizon and fault identification, seismic picking and basic mapping.
  7. Compare seismic time-to-depth conversion techniques and recognize the advantages and disadvantages of different methods.
  8. Determine factors affecting seismic resolution at the reservoir scale.
  9. Differentiate the various types of seismic attributes available and select appropriate attributes for a given project.
  10. Demonstrate the relationship between mapping exercises on paper and modern workstation practices.
  11. Apply basic stratigraphic seismic interpretation skills including identification of major sequence boundaries, and also 3D stratigraphic slicing to map channel reservoirs.

Seismic data, in particular 3D seismic data, is a mainstay of the petroleum industry. Seismic data are used by geophysicists, geologists and engineers alike to image subsurface structure and stratigraphy, identify hydrocarbons, and thereby generate drilling prospects and effectively drain oil and gas reservoirs. Achieving an understanding of all of the methods and concepts used during the interpretation process can be a daunting task. A partial list of disciplines incorporated into a complete interpretation workflow includes rock physics, signal processing, wireline log analysis, computer visualization, structural geology, stratigraphy and petroleum engineering. Few, if any, new hires have mastered, or perhaps even been exposed to, all of these disciplines during their university education. Other, more experienced, petroleum professionals may have become specialists in one of these or other fields, and lack the “big-picture” view necessary for maximizing the value of a seismic interpretation.

The approximate schedule of content for this course is shown below but may vary according to the pace and experience of the group.


Prospect risk factors influencing interpretation workflows

  • Exercise: prospect analysis and risk assessment

The seismic method

  • Rock properties
  • Wave propagation, reflectivity, impedance
  • Data acquisition
  • Exercises: reflection coefficients, time/depth domains, mapping

Seismic data processing overview

  • Conventional pre-stack processing and CMP gathers
  • Post-stack processing
  • Seismic migration
  • Exercises: datum statics, migration

Calibration methods (well-tie)

  • Velocity surveys
  • Sonic logs
  • Synthetic seismograms
  • Exercise: seismic well tie

Vertical Seismic Profiles

Structural interpretation

  • Structural styles
  • Fault interpretation
  • Exercise: fault plane interpretation
  • Horizon interpretation techniques
  • Horizon attributes
  • Exercise: structure mapping
  • Validation methods
  • Interpretation pitfalls
  • Exercises: compressional tectonics

Attributes for lithology, fluids, and rock mechanics

  • Acoustic impedance and inversion
  • AVO and elastic seismic response
  • Pore pressure effects on velocity
  • Interpretation tools for unconventional reservoirs

 Modelling and depth conversion tools

  • Types of velocity information
  • Depth conversion methods
  • Exercise: velocity model building
  • Workflow: depth conversion using 2-layer model
  • Image ray map migration
  • PreStack depth migration

Validation using 2D modeling, ray tracing and full waveform modeling

Stratigraphic interpretation of seismic data

  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Seismic facies identification
  • Exercise: seismic stratigraphy
  • Seismic tuning amplitudes and isochron mapping
  • Exercise: mapping reservoirs using stratigraphic slices
  • Spectral decomposition
  • Visualization tools

Who should attend

This course is aimed at new seismic interpreters, who require tools and techniques for the practical use and interpretation of seismic data. Participation in this course may also be valuable for geotechnical assistants involved in seismic interpretation projects, petrophysicists, engineers, and project managers.

Prerequisites and linking courses

A general geological background and some familiarity with industry terms and practice are assumed.

D085 provides the foundation necessary for other geophysics courses, including D004 (The Essentials of Rock Physics for Seismic Amplitude Interpretation (Distance Learning)). D049 (Seismic Attributes for Exploration and Reservoir Characterisation (Distance Learning)), D090 (Seismic Structural Styles Workshop (Distance Learning)), and D483 (Geological Seismic Interpretation of Deepwater Systems: Depositional Environments, Reservoir Architecture and Stratigraphy (Distance Learning)).

Rachel Newrick

Since 1992 Rachel has worked for BHP Petroleum in Melbourne, Occidental Petroleum in Houston, Exxon Mobil in Houston, Veritas DGC in Calgary, Nexen Inc in Calgary, Nexen Petroleum UK in London and Cairn Energy in Edinburgh. While at Cairn Energy, Rachel participated in the frontier exploration of West Greenland before taking on the role of Exploration Manager for the Mediterranean and North Africa. On returning to Canada in 2013, to get back to the great outdoors, Rachel started Racian Ventures Ltd and acts as Consultant Geophysicist to international exploration companies.

Rachel is the co-author of the SEG Geophysical Monograph Series #13, Fundamentals of Geophysical Interpretation with Laurence Lines, a contributor to both 52 Things You Should Know About Geophysics and 52 Things You Should Know About Rock Physics, and has presented at a variety of conferences and technical luncheons.

While not working or volunteering in the geoscience community, Rachel is travelling, motorcycling, skiing or enjoying fine wine with her partner Ian. They are based in Alberta, Canada.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Calgary, Canada - Exploration Seismology
BSc Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand - Applied Geophysics (Honours)
BSc Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand - Geology
SEG - Member
AAPG - Member
EAGE - Member
APEGA - P. Geoph, P. Geol
CSEG - Member and President (2015 - 2016)

Courses Taught
N040: Interpretation of 3D Seismic Data
N085: Introduction to Seismic Interpretation
N165: Fundamental Concepts of Seismic Techniques
N485: Advanced Seismic Interpretation

Alternative Dates for this Course

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