Intra-survey reservoir fluctuations – implications for quantitative 4D seismic analysis

Veronica Omofoma*, Colin MacBeth, Hamed Amini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


During the time taken for seismic data to be acquired, reservoir pressure may fluctuate as a consequence of field production and operational procedures and fluid fronts may move significantly. These variations prevent accurate quantitative measurement of the reservoir change using 4D seismic data. Modelling studies on the Norne field simulation model using acquisition data from ocean-bottom seismometer and towed streamer systems indicate that the pre-stack intra-survey reservoir fluctuations are important and cannot be neglected. Similarly, the time-lapse seismic image in the post-stack domain does not represent a difference between two states of the reservoir at a unique base and monitor time, but is a mixed version of reality that depends on the sequence and timing of seismic shooting. The outcome is a lack of accuracy in the measurement of reservoir changes using the resulting processed and stacked 4D seismic data. Even for perfect spatial repeatability between surveys, a spatially variant noise floor is still anticipated to remain. For our particular North Sea acquisition data, we find that towed streamer data are more affected than the ocean-bottom seismometer data. We think that this may be typical for towed streamers due to their restricted aperture compared to ocean-bottom seismometer acquisitions, even for a favourable time sequence of shooting and spatial repeatability. Importantly, the pressure signals on the near and far offset stacks commonly used in quantitative 4D seismic inversion are found to be inconsistent due to the acquisition timestamp. Saturation changes at the boundaries of fluid fronts appear to show a similar inconsistency across sub-stacks. We recommend that 4D data are shot in a consistent manner to optimize aerial time coverage, and that additionally, the timestamp of the acquisition should be used to optimize pre-stack quantitative reservoir analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-297
Number of pages16
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Data processing
  • Monitoring, Acquisition
  • Reservoir geophysics
  • Time lapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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