Improve Your Deep-water Salt Interpreting and Modeling

By Nam Nguyen

Product Manager – Seismic Interpretation and Analysis, Halliburton Landmark


Part of the Spotlight Series

Interpret and model complex deep-water multi-Z salt bodies with optimal resolution

Salt body interpretation is a critical challenge in deep water exploration and production. Accurately and effectively interpreting salt bodies has significant impact not only in seismic depth imaging but also in reservoir modeling and well planning. 

In traditional workflows, salt bodies are typically interpreted as one or more pairs of top salt and base salt single-Z horizons. These horizon pairs are then used as inputs to build the final triangle mesh representation of the salt bodies. Very large (~100 million triangles) salt bodies can adversely impact performance when incorporated into subsequent modeling workflows.

Using Landmark’s Dynamic Frameworks to Fill® software technology, the salt bodies are represented as structural compartments. When the interpretation is updated, the computed compartments are updated automatically for immediate validation. These compartments are defined using a hybrid resolution model, to optimize the resolution for each input surface. This allows the interpreter to preserve full detail in the critical area at the top of the salt body, while representing the remainder of the salt structure at the resolution supported by the seismic data.

This approach can support the construction of accurate complex multi-Z salt bodies with a smaller quantity of triangles, without losing resolution. This in turn can help improve performance by three or four times, enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of velocity and reservoir modeling.    



Figure 1: A Multi-Z salt body showing variable resolution where the top salt surface uses four times finer resolution than the other areas.



Figure 2: Final reservoir model with incorporation of Multi-Z salt bodies.


This article first appeared in the February 2018 issue of the Smart & Connected E&P™, an iEnergy® newsletter.

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