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Denver - Exploring for Wolfcamp Reservoirs in Permian Basin, TX, Using a Machine Learning Approach

August 16, 2018
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Denver Geophysical Society
Wynkoop Brewery
1634 18th Street 
Denver, CO 80202
Peter Wang, Geophysical Technical Advisor at Emerson E&P Software, will be the guest speaker at the monthly luncheon of the Denver Geophysical Society.   Peter will present a case study, Exploring for Wolfcamp Reservoirs, Eastern Shelf of the Permian Basin, Texas, Using a Machine Learning Approach, co-authored by Bruno de Ribet (Emerson E&P Software), Monte Meers (Independent Geologist), Howard “Pete” Renick (Independent Geologist), Russ Creath (Reservoir Geophysicist, Hardin International), and Ryan McKee (Geophysical Technician, RAM Imaging Technology).


One of the leading challenges in hydrocarbon exploration and production is predicting rock types and fluid content distribution throughout the reservoir away from the boreholes.  In this presentation, we will demonstrate the application of a neural network-based machine learning methodology called Democratic Neural Network Association (DNNA) to the problem of finding oil-filled packstones in the Middle Wolfcamp, Eastern Shelf of the Permian Basin, Texas.

The DNNA algorithm searched through fifteen 3D seismic volumes simultaneously, and was able to build a model which reconstructed the nine lithofacies. No evidence was seen of false positive or false negative predictions at the wells for the oil-filled packstone facies.

The neural network learnings were applied through the 3D survey, and results were delivered with up to a 0.5 ms two-way time vertical resolution, or about 5 ft, a significant uplift from conventional seismic resolution. Lateral resolution was also improved. Additional drilling opportunities can be identified from the seismic facies thickness map or the facies probability voxel clouds.

Voxel visualization display of the Lower and Upper Wolfcamp oil-filled facies probability cloud, Eastern Shelf of Permian Basin, TX


Peter-Wang_sm.jpgPeter Wang is a Geophysical Technical Advisor with Emerson E&P Software (formerly Paradigm). He has a BS in Geosciences from Brown University, and an MS in Geophysics and MBA from the University of Houston. He has a thirty-two year history in the Geophysical industry. Prior to joining Emerson in 2015 he served as Schlumberger’s Seismic for Unconventionals Product Champion. He has also worked for Amoco Production Company and Kelman Seismic Processing.