Technical Paper
Technical Paper

A Predictive Rock Physics Framework for Frontier Exploration

October 22, 2020

Written by: Nick Huntbatch, Alsing Selnes, and Neil Whitfield of Ikon Science


Exploration in frontier basins is challenging; subtle targets, large seismic datasets, sparse well penetrations, and many unknowns. There is an obvious requirement for interpretations to be robust, but also delivered on a commercial timeframe. In order to make robust and informed interpretations of seismic amplitudes, we need to understand the geological controls on the elastic properties of each seismically distinct rock type that may be present within the basin; we also need to understand if some rocks can’t be imaged. The geological properties that we are interested in, and those that control elastic properties, include the rock mineralogy, porosity, fluid saturation, depth of burial, and compaction state, as well as pore pressure and stress. To make this connection we need to turn to rock physics. In this paper, discussion of the key considerations that should be made when developing a predictive rock physics framework is provided.

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