Anisotropic 2.5D Inversion of Towed Streamer EM Data from Three North Sea Fields Using Parallel Adaptive Finite Elements

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Kerry Key, IGPP/SIO/UCSD, La Jolla, CA, United States and Zhijun Du, PGS, Surrey, United Kingdom
We present anisotropic inversion results from towed streamer electromagnetic (EM) surveys of the Bressay, Bentley and Kraken (BBK) heavy oil fields in the North Sea. The BBK discoveries pose several challenges to conventional controlled-source EM surveying since the relatively shallow water dampens the anomaly magnitudes due to airwave coupling, and the reservoirs are in close proximity to other resistive features. The 160 m spacing of the 44 receiver bipoles on the towed streamer offers much higher data density than is typically achieved with conventional seafloor receiver surveys. We tested the resolving capabilities of the towed-streamer by inverting the survey data using a new code based on a 2.5D parallel goal-oriented adaptive finite element method and a modified implementation of the Occam inversion algorithm. The inversion successfully images the 1-2 km wide Bressay and ~5 km wide Bentley reservoirs, illustrating that the high data density of the towed streamer offers improved resolution over sparsely sampled nodal seafloor receiver data. The results also demonstrate the importance of allowing for anisotropy when inverting data from this region. Whereas anisotropic inversion clearly recovers the lateral edges of the known reservoirs, isotropic inversion results in inter-bedding of resistive and conductive layers that conceal the reservoirs.