Technical Paper: Building a Seismic-Driven 3D Geomechanical Model in a Deep Carbonate Reservoir

Society: SEG
Paper Number: 569
Presentation Date: 2011


In this paper we show how to extend seismic-driven earth model building into the domain of geomechanics and drilling. A mechanical earth model (MEM) is a quantitative description of rock mechanical properties and in-situ stresses in the subsurface. Formation strength and in-situ stress are key components that impact well design. Most mechanical earth models, even today, are one-dimensional (1D), based on well and drilling data alone. The concept of using seismically derived horizons and velocities to extend the MEM into 3D space was introduced a few years ago. Very recently, a few authors have demonstrated the power of seismic inversion to improve the resolution and quality of a 3D MEM. We present a case-study from Kuwait (Sabriyah field) where a 3D geomechanical model was built using a combination of wellbore geomechanics, geologic structure, and seismic inversion-derived lithofacies and elastic properties. We show critical challenges facing seismic-based geomechanical model-building, demonstrate current solutions, and discuss future strategies.

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