Lesson Contents01. Practical Qualitative Interpretation Lesson 1.01: Introduction02. Who is Laurie Weston?03. Practical QI Outline04. Introduction05. Quantitative Interpretation06. Geophysics Jargon07. Big Picture QI08. Why QI?09. Geology is Complex10. Size Doesn’t Matter11. The Effect of Time: Remote Monitoring12. The QI Transformation13. Useful Information for Well Planning14. QI Workflow15. QI as a Race Car16. Stay Humble17. A Note About Software
01. Practical Qualitative Interpretation Lesson 1.01: IntroductionAll right, well this is the Practical QI course, a comprehensive overview for interpreters. And I'm Laurie Weston.
02. Who is Laurie Weston?So who am I? Well, I have a degree in Physics and Astronomy. And during that degree I was on the co-op program where I had multiple work terms at a radio observatory because I was interested in astronomy at Dome Petroleum, which doesn't exist anymore, but was a pretty exciting oil company here in Calgary and Chevron and Shell. So at the end of my degree I had the opportunity to choose between a couple of offers and I chose Shell Canada. The main reason was that I was gonna get to go overseas. I wanted adventure, I wanted some interesting things to do. So some of these pictures here you'll see are from my adventures overseas. One of the first things I did when I went to Shell, Canada was go on a training course in Holland for four months and got to experience some of the exciting Shell world. However, I went back to Calgary, started doing seismic processing and was looking for more excitement than what I was getting. So I moved to a British company called LASMO and that's where I traveled and you can see in some of these pictures. So at the top here, this is some ruins in the Syrian desert. These were Roman ruins. We were driving across the desert to go to a seismic shoot out on the Euphrates Groban in between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers in ancient Mesopotamia. So this was pretty exciting for me. And this was the view from my office in London, England. That was St Paul's Cathedral. This was the view from my office on another day, the I.R.A. bombs went off in London and blew out the glass in several of the windows. So this was exciting in a different way. And then on another trip we went to Morocco and this was in North Africa. In Morocco we were looking for surface oil seeps. So this was looking at just a pipe that the local farmer had stuck in the ground and oil was seeping into it. So this is all very enlightening for me and super exciting. At that seismic shoot, I had an entourage of little kids. All these little Syrian boys following me everywhere. They were thrilled to get their picture taken. And I was told to dress conservatively. You'll see that I'm in a skirt here. I wore the skirt to the well site, which really kind of amused all the drilling hands who were all from Canada, by the way. And I've always thought that I should dress appropriately so that's what this picture represents. And this was when I went up to Fort McMurray, to the oil sands. So in Wascana Energy and Nexen and Oil Sands Imaging, these are all related to the oil sands. And that's where I started to realize that seismic data had a lot more to offer than I was already learning. And so the QI process began. That was back in 2007, I started my company called Oil Sands Imaging. In 2012 we realized that this process was, the QI process I'm going to describe today, was actually relevant to all kinds of plays, not just oil sands. So we changed the name of the company to Sound QI. Within a month we were taken over by Canadian Discovery and that happened in 2012 and I became the director of geophysics at Canadian Discovery. And then a nasty downturn hit and things all changed. By January 2017, our team was disengaged, I guess you could say from Canadian Discovery and Sound QI was formed. Sound QI Solutions or Sound QI 2.0, as I like to call it. So in 2017, right in the middle of a bad downturn, we formed a company and now three years later, we've grown and we're still doing what we love to do. So I'm going to describe in this course some of the things that contribute to the quantitative interpretation process, so that's QI.
03. Practical QI OutlineThis is the outline for the Practical QI course. We have multiple chapters, an introduction, rock physics, well data, seismic data, classification, advanced topics and then a summary pulling it all together. So in each of these chapters, there's going to be multiple lessons that dive a little deeper into each of the subjects. However, we don't go that deep. Each of these and you'll see as I start talking about them, each of these is actually a full course in itself. And what you get here is a practical overview of all the elements that go into QI. And as an interpreter, this course is geared for interpreters. As an interpreter, you need to pull it all together. You need to have a little bit of knowledge. You have to know a little bit about the pitfalls in each of these categories so that you can bring it together into an environment where you can make decisions and the team has confidence in those decisions. So that's what this course is for it. This course is for you as an interpreter to help contribute valuable information to the decisions the team needs to make about oil and gas exploration and development.
04. IntroductionStarting with an introduction. So first of all, what is QI? And then why is it useful? Why should we learn about QI and why should we bring it to our teams?
05. Quantitative InterpretationI like to look at this as a number of ingredients that make us a delicious cake. It's a geology cake, it's delicious. And all these ingredients are available to everybody but the quality of the ingredients is important. The order in which you add them is important. How much you mix them, the kind of tools you use, everything is important. And that's what QI is all about. QI is about taking ingredients that are actually available to everybody. But the way you put them together, your biases, your interpretation, your assessment of the results is what makes a difference. So that's what this course is all about, is how to make a delicious geology cake that everybody will want to sample.
06. Geophysics JargonSo one of the things that I want to start with right off the bat is the jargon that everybody uses. If you look at any discipline, we've all got our jargon. And unfortunately, it's only those people who are familiar with these things that actually understand them, that can relate to them and if you use these kind of words in mixed company, you're gonna lose people. They're going to stop understanding what you're saying and you're going to lose your audience. So these words are all definitely part of geophysics for sure but we need to try to relay these concepts in more of a plain language type of method. So that's another aspect to the course is learning not only what the words mean, but also how to convey these things intuitively so that people understand what you're talking about. If you use these words, you're gonna confuse people. So let's try to stay away from the jargon, even words like relative and trace and trim and training. All of these things actually have distinct meanings within the geophysical environment and people might project their own understanding of what these things mean. So it's best to avoid them or explain them if you have to use them and you can't get around it.
07. Big Picture QISo the big picture QI. Let's just look at a giant 10,000 ft overview of what encompasses QI. And so this is really what this big picture is. Here's seismic attributes. So that's one thing we're going to talk about in great detail about seismic attributes.
08. Why QI?So why do we do QI in the first place? Well, the bottom line is QI makes money. To drill and complete one horizontal well in the Montney I think it's, I've heard it's around $10 million. So to acquire and process a 3D seismic program, about $150,000 per square mile, depending on where you are, depending how deep your objective is but in the Montney, it's about $150,000 a square mile. And the Montney is a shale gas play in Canada. To drill and core one vertical well in the oil sands and again this is in Canada, is around $500,000. To drill 8 * 16 vertical wells per square mile. And these vertical wells are drilled purely for evaluation purposes. They're not drilled for production. So they're just drilled to figure out what kind of reservoir we're dealing with. So that could be $4M - $8M per square mile. And one horizontal well pair for this kind of play, this kind of production is at least $2M depending on the length and whether it's drilled from a pad or not. So to shoot and process a 3D seismic program in this environment is $1M per square mile. So already the cost is minimal compared to the actual development of these kind of plays.
09. Geology is ComplexNow, geology is complex. We all know this. It seems though, that sometimes when we're looking at the surface and we have a geological concept in mind and we're about to drill, we tend to simplify and we all do this. We think OK, we've drilled a couple of wells here we're smart people, we know what's going on, we have all kinds of analogs so we tend to oversimplify until we know exactly what's going on.
10. Size Doesn’t MatterAnd I have to say, size does not matter. This could be a gigantic faulted mine face or it could be fractures on a very small scale. And so geology is similarly complicated whether we're looking at large scale or small scale. And seismic data is actually a way of trying to relate those scales to each other, relate those scales to the well data and see more information between wells.
11. The Effect of Time: Remote MonitoringWe can also use QI and seismic information for monitoring. So this is an example. This was published in 2010. It's a North Sea field and it's a time lapse survey of I believe this is an injection. So we're looking at fluid effects over a period of time. The first one in 2001 and then subsequent surveys, subsequent seismic surveys at a couple of year intervals. Looks like every two years they did another seismic survey. So then they were able to see the effect of the geological processes or the production and injection processes.
12. The QI TransformationThis is what I call the QI transformation. So we looked at seismic data in relation to an outcrop. And that seismic data showed us a lot of complex features and when we relate it to the outcrop, we have an idea of what those things might be, but we really don't know until we've done a deep dive in the data.
13. Useful Information for Well PlanningOnce we have something like this, imagine how useful it is. So this is taking a small portion of one of those seismic volumes that's been transformed into the shale oil, water and gas in an oil sands play. And we've put that small portion, that small subcube of seismic data over one of the planned wells. So this well plan here is 6 well pairs that are being drilled from a central pad. And this being a SAGD operation, the bottom well is the oil producer and the top well is the steam injector. And originally, without using seismic these wells are planned based on the results of vertical wells. So we've got a well at the heel here and we've got a well at the toe. And the geology that was encountered in those wells would have been interpolated between the wells. And then that's how the horizontal wells would have been situated is based on that interpolation between the geology at those wells. Now look at the detailed information we have about shale beds. Whether or not they're continuous. If we should avoid the thicker ones. We've got a gas zone at the top here. We've got some shale and actually some water at the bottom and we see that it's a variable contact there. So that's all going to inform better well planning, better horizontal well planning for more optimum production.
14. QI WorkflowThis is another big picture of a QI workflow with a little more detail. So I'm easing you into this gently. So we started out with our big picture, the three main components, the well data, the rock physics, the seismic attributes and the classification.
15. QI as a Race CarAnother analogy here, not the cake analogy, this is a race car analogy. So race cars have a lot of high tech. They've got all of these technological things, the suspension, the brakes, the fuel, the engine, the tires, the body, the transmission. All of that is under the hood.
16. Stay HumbleAt the same time, we need to stay humble. We're trying to predict things that we can't see for the most part. So we often have sparse and infrequent observations. We have errors in everything. We have incorrect interpretations of observations. We have theoretical misunderstanding and so on and so on and so on. Until ultimately we have poor results and then we have to cover them up. My personal favorite is that management directives out here by itself, which we mostly ignore. Anyway, this I saw in a technical publication 30 years ago and it's been on my wall ever since as a reminder that what we're dealing with is something that we can't ever totally understand.
17. A Note About SoftwareSo in this course, I just want to talk about the software that I've used. All the well data crossplots that I'm going to show in this course were created using Paradigm's Geolog software, unless I've indicated otherwise. Any synthetic seismic, all the seismic attributes shown were created using Hampson Russell CGG. And the rock physics plots that I'm going to show were created using Matlab and custom code. So that's Sound QI code, unless I've referenced them to a publication of some kind. And the seismic data across plotting that I'm showing in this course was all done in our Sound QI pro software.