N284 Seismic Attributes and Pre-Stack Inversion Tools for Characterizing Unconventional Reservoirs

Course Facts

Course Code:
4 days
3.2 Continuing Education Units
32 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


Participants will develop the skills required to review, select and interpret the range of seismic attributes and pre-stack inversion tools available for the characterization of unconventional reservoirs including tight sandstones and shales. 

Duration and Training Method

This 4-day course combines lectures, case history discussions and guided classroom workshops to establish the theoretical basis for the estimation of certain rock properties using seismic data and enable participants to determine which seismic attributes are most likely to be useful in various reservoir characterization projects.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Synthesize the various rock physics measurements for unconventional reservoirs that may be estimated from seismic data.
  2. Evaluate petrophysical variations in shales, oil sands, and tight sands observed in calibration wells and be able to predict observable diff erences in the expected seismic response.
  3. Assess the infl uence of tectonic stress history and also the importance of rock properties such as brittleness on reservoir performance.
  4. Select appropriate seismic attributes (amplitude, azimuthal anisotropy measurements, AVO, acoustic impedance, elastic impedance, curvature, coherence etc.) expected to be useful predictors of enhanced reservoir performance.
  5. Construct rose-diagrams from seismic attributes that can be used to study structural orientations and stress fields.
  6. Assess the relevance of seismic inversion measurements such as Lamda-Rho, Mu-Rho, Young’s modulus and Poisson’s Ratio that might be helpful to engineers in well planning and reservoir stimulation design.

Day 1: Introduction

  • Overview of current best practices
  • Seismic resolution, spectral enhancements
  • Spectral decomposition
  • Introduction to seismic inversion methods and geo-statistics
  • Impact of local stress and fractures on seismic measurements
  • Rock mechanics, seismic inputs for drilling & stimulation
  • Seismic measurements as inputs to reservoir characterization
  • Overview of seismic toolset; post stack vs. pre-stack attributes

Day 2: Curvature attributes

  • Coherence Attributes
  • Amplitude vs Offset (Angle) interpretation
  • Combined Attributes
  • Preconditioning of seismic data for attribute analysis
  • Guided Interpretation Workshop

Day 3: Overview of Shale oil/gas reservoirs

  • What can we expect to observe with seismic data?
  • Source rock characterization
  • Effect of in-situ stresses on seismic response
  • Characterization of shale gas reservoirs using prestack inversion tools
  • E_Rho as a brittleness indicator
  • Seismic measures as inputs to reservoir characterization & engineering
  • Technical challenges, environmental issues
  • Case histories, examples
  • Guided Interpretation Workshop

Day 4: Tight sandstone reservoirs – challenges

  • Gas vs. oil vs. water; can we tell the difference?
  • Azimuthal anisotropy measurements to predict open fractures
  • Seismic measures as inputs to reservoir characterization & engineering
  • Case histories, examples
  • Summary of seismic attributes
  • Guided Interpretation Workshop

Who should attend

Geoscientists, processing geophysicists and engineers having an understanding of the fundamental principles of the seismic method, with a minimum of one year’s experience interpreting seismic data, and who are interested in learning more about the application of seismic attributes to characterize unconventional reservoirs.

Prerequisites and linking courses

A basic knowledge of the seismic method is assumed. N085 (Introduction to Seismic interpretation), N080 (Geophysics for Subsurface Professionals), or equivalent training are strongly recommended prior to registration for this course.  Geoscientists taking this course may also benefit from taking N206 (Seismic Tools for Unconventional Reservoirs), which deals extensively with seismic anisotropy effects due to fractures and stress in reservoirs.

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Satinder Chopra

Very well put together. Thank you!