Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project, Phase VIII

The Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project (ETLP) is a mature, UK-based, university research consortium with over twenty-one years of experience in the field of Quantitative Interpretation of 4D seismic data. The size of our research team fluctuates in size each year but typically consists of one Principal Investigator, Assistant Professors, a Research Fellow, Senior Research Associates, Research Associates, and twelve PhD students. The consortium will enter its eighth phase of research on June 2021 and this will last until June 2024. Our particular specialisation is the integration of reservoir engineering and time- lapse seismic data at an in-depth and practical level that is relatively unique to academia. To maintain our data-centric perspective, a key driver in ETLP research is the data donated from our sponsors. Our previous Phase VII portfolio covered clastic, chalk and hard-rock carbonate fields from the UKCS, NCS, Campos Basin, West Coast Africa, North America, and Gulf of Mexico. It is our intention to continue with our popular data-oriented approach in Phase VIII and also to retain our particular brand of multi-disciplinary research.

Over the years, ETLP has developed tools, ideas and workflows to analyse 4D seismic data in an engineering-consistent manner – that is, the seismic results must honour the true reservoir physics of fluid flow, pressure evolution and available geological knowledge. Quantitative 4D seismic interpretation as a subject has also grown, involving more interest in pre-stack analysis, larger data volumes, frequent acquisitions and of course machine learning. Interest in accessing stress fields or strain deformations from the seismic data remains high, especially for HPHT fields. Assimilation of our 4D data into our subsurface models remains a critical challenge due to the workflow speed and the volume of our data. Finally, within ETLP team we are now in a stage of consolidation of our historical and current software base for future generations of sponsors, staff and students.

The Phase VIII programme retains the same basic modular structure to previous phases, as this has been found to be an effective way to communicate and structure our work for the sponsorship group and during sponsor meetings. It is also the way our software toolbox is organised. Thus, the research is run as three, inter-linked subject areas

  • Module 1 – 4D QI+
  • Module 2 – Dynamic property estimation
  • Module 3 – Data assimilation