Case Studies and Practical Considerations in Geophysical Acquisition and Processing Methods

Course Description

This course emphasizes how the aims of the G&G interpretation and the exploration targets have to be understood before starting the preparation of the explorations activities. The in-field operations will be presented through a very comprehensive set of case studies both using large and small field crews in order to familiarize the Attendees to the research of the less expensive and more technical appropriate solution. After a preliminary G&G introduction, the course describes how the expected goals of the geophysical survey are elaborated with the G&G interpreters, who work in the area of study. An estimation of the relative budget and procurement procedures shall be quantified with the Legal, Finance and the Exploration Departments. The HSSE Impact Assessment, including the utilisation of satellite photographs and the scouting in the area of study, are of paramount importance for the survey design and the future management of the operations in the field. The Invitation to Tender and related evaluation is the link between the preparation phase and the field operations After definition of the technical program in the field, relations with Governmental Authorities and people living in the area of the survey start in order to carry out the mobilisation of the crew in a smooth way without financial-wise dangerous frictions with local population. Last, but not least, the supervision (HSSE and QC) of the survey shall be organised. All the technical, HSSE, logistic, political, and financial aspects of the mobilisation will be described using real cases. A very wide range of acquisition, processing, interpretation and exploration well results will be presented as, for example, but not limited to: 2D, 3D, 4C, Ocean Bottom Nodes, Transition Zones, simultaneous sources, wide azimuth seismic, broadband seismic, onshore seismic survey using a combination of explosive and vibroseis. All topics are described using case histories and integrated with in-class exercises. Benefit of real-time processing in a remote processing centre via data transfer by satellite (when applicable) will be emphasized. Demobilisation will complete the in-field aspect. Processing will be presented focusing the attention on imaging (signal/ noise, vertical and lateral resolutions), Time-to-Depth conversion (PSTM, PSDM), and reservoir characterisation (dual trace inversion, acoustic vs. elastic impedance plots, estimation of fluids and physical properties of rocks). Exploration well results are presented and discussed. A portion of the course is allocated to the integrated reprocessing of legacy geophysical and integration with geological data to be applied as a propaedeutic exercise with two objectives: 1. to design the more efficient and less expensive exploration phase, and 2. to have a provisional work-flow of the processing sequence, subject to adjustments after data recording in the field, in order to invite to tender for acquisition and processing of the survey in one go.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to: 1. have a complete outline from the exploration licence awarding until the understanding of the exploration well results, 2. know the advantages, the limits, the challenges and the pitfalls of the Geophysics applied to the O&G exploration, 3. manage the complex relationships between Oil&Gas Companies, Service Contractors and local authorities and population, 4. have a better work integration and sinergies with staffs of the other related departments,

Course Outline

DAY 1 Part 1: Introduction A. Geological basin analysis (with case studies and exercises) B. Outline of geophysical methods (Seismic, Gravity, Magnetic, Magnetotelluric, Remote sensing) Part 2: Preparation of a geophysical survey (with case studies and exercises) A. Definition of exploration targets Legacy data evaluation and interpretation Legacy data reprocessing G&G integration B. Preliminary studies in the field Satellite images HSSE study Environmental Impact Assessment In-field scouting and relationships with local authorities/ populations C. Geophysical survey propaedeutic to seismic D. Invitation to tender (acquisition, processing, HSSE&QC supervision) DAY 2 Part 3: Seismic survey (onshore and offshore, with case studies and exercises) A. Principle and methodology B. Preparation of the survey C. Acquisition Mobilization Equipment test Work in the field Survey management and HSSE (supervision) In-field processing Restoration Demobilization C. Seismic data processing Filters and deconvolutions Stacking Migration (PostSTM,PSTM/PSDM) and Time-to-Depth conversion DAY 3 Part 4: AirMag survey (with case studies and exercises) A. Principle and methodology B. Survey preparation including authorities approval C. Acquisition (airborn or on land/water) D. Processing E. Interpretation and G&G integration Part 5: Magnetotelluric (with case studies and exercises) A. Principle and methodology B. Survey preparation including authorities approval C. Acquisition D. Processing E. Interpretation and G&G integration Part 6: Remote sensing (with case studies and exercises) A. Principle Satellite and aircraft recprdings Multispectral methodologies Passive and active methodologies B. Survey preparation including authorities approval C. Acquisition D. Processing E. Interpretation and G&G integration DAY 4 Part 7: Interpretation (with case studies and exercises) A. Multidisciplinary integration B. Qualitative geological facies and fluid content evaluation C. Quantitative reservoir characterisation D. Exploration well location (including logistic) E. Borehole seismic F. Exploration well resuls evaluation G. Integration and updating of the prognosed vs. actual resuls Part 8 A. Open discussion B. Wrap-up C. Way forward

Participants’ Profile

Geophysical (in particular seismic) acquisition and processing users, who wishes to understand the overall chain from the awarding of the exploration licence until the proposal of the exploration well and, in case of success, the location of the appreciation well. Interpreters and explorationists, who wish to gain some knowledge of geophysical acquisition, processing and reservoir characterisation techniques, their application in exploration and advantages, the limites, the challenges and the pitfalls of the Geophysics applied to the O&G exploration. People involved in procurement, HSSE, or providing legal support, or young engineers, who wishes to have an outline of the geophysical survey applied to the hydrocarbon exploration.


Neither a geophysical background, nor mathematics skill is mandatory: because the key for the success of a project is not to have a few experts, but that all involved actors understand what the others departments and users are doing and why.

Recommended Reading

Any basic geophysical reading, pending on available time.

About the Instructor

Project manager with more than 35 years of experience in the oil, gas, and unconventional exploration, working with major and middle-sized oil companies providing a high standard quality work and showing good inter-personnel relationship skills. He has a lot of experience in geophysical acquisition, including borehole, (very often working in challenging environments, solving logistical and political problems, and using leading edge technologies), geophysical processing (applying state-of-the art software and even processing methodologies at research level and not on the market, yet) and geological/geophysical interpretation in several geological basins. • Very involved in HSSE management and familiar with Safety Management Systems. • From 08/83 to 08/93 Geophysicist with Total in France and Italy • From 09/93 to 09/97 Chief geophysicist with Total in Italy • From 10/97 to 12/05 Chief Geophysicist with Wintershall in the Netherlands and Libya • From 01/06 to 10/07 Country Representative with Wintershall in Mauritania • From 11/07 to 12/08 Exploration advisor with Wintershall in the Netherlands • From 01/09 to 07/11 Team Leader with ENI in Nigeria and Egypt • From 08/11 to 02/13 Unconventional Tar Sands Project Manager with ENI in Congo Brazaville • From 02/13 to 07/13 Regional Geophysical and New Venture Manager with ENI in Italy • From 08/13 to 10/14 Head of Geophysics with CEPSA in Spain • From 10/14 to 05/20 Head of Geophysics with Dragon Oil in Dubai • From 06/20 to current Geophysics Senior Advisor with OCSE in Belgium • Several papers presented and published in International conferences and seminars (e.g.: EAGE Conference in Florence in 2002, in Tunis in 2003 and in Vienna in 2006, GEXP in Libya in 2005, EPC Conference in Tunis 2018, GEO in Bahrein 2018 and 2020, EAGE in Oman 2018, EGYPT in Cairo 2019, ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi 2019, MOC in Alexandria 2019) and. publication in First Break 2006, AAPG 2011 and GEO 2020. • Chairman/reviewer at EAGE Tight Reservoirs Workshop 2019 in Saudi Arabia, AAPG Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East 2020 in Saudi Arabia, IPTC 2020 in Saudi Arabia and EAGE Workshop Hotspots on Algeria 2021 Virtual.