Potential applications of time-lapse CSEM to reservoir monitoring

Olarinre Salako, Colin MacBeth, Lucy MacGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monitoring of changes in brine chemistry (salinity and temperature), during water-flooding is important for injector optimisation, understanding efficiency, detecting early water breakthrough, locating bypassed hydrocarbons or detecting scaling in the heterogeneous reservoir. It is already known that water injection into the oil-leg of a hydrocarbon reservoir can be monitored by both seismic acquisition and also CSEM methods. The problem of an interfering pressure signal for seismic impacts quantitative evaluation for time-lapse analysis, while with EM there are the counterbalancing effects of salinity and temperature. CSEM becomes favoured when the pressure effects on seismic are dominant, or heavy oil is present with similar acoustic properties as the formation and injected waters. The quality of measurement for both methods is influenced by reservoir facies variations, acquisition repeatability and overburden heterogeneity. Time-lapse seismic is unlikely to detect brine distributions injected into the water-leg or aquifer, although it may detect associated pressure up effects. However, our calculations show that it may be possible for time-lapse CSEM to distinguish the inter-mixing of different brines in the subsurface hydrocarbon reservoir. Specifically, low salinity injection or injection into a highly saline formation can clearly be detected with this technique.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalFirst Break
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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