Reservoir characterization of the Miocene Starfak and Tiger Shoal fields, offshore Louisiana through integration of sequence stratigraphy, 3-D seismic, and well-log data
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Many "mature" Gulf of Mexico (GOM) fields, due to their structurally and stratigraphically complex nature, possess significant remaining resources. Such is the case in the Starfak and Tiger Shoal fields, offshore Louisiana. In these fields, forty hydrocarbon reservoirs occur in a regressive Miocene-age succession that comprises 10 third-order and at least 58 fourth-order sequences. Reservoir-scale heterogeneity is controlled by the nature and distribution of sedimentary facies and is usually below the resolution of current subsurface seismic sampling. Sequence-stratigraphic analysis helps to improve predictions of spatial and temporal reservoir heterogeneity. This study addresses the application of the correlation between petrophysical properties (PP) (e.g., effective porosity and shale volume) and seismic attributes (SA) within a high-frequency sequence- stratigraphic framework to identify untapped reservoir compartments in the two offshore Louisiana fields. Synthetic modeling of the seismic data showed that the vertical resolution of the seismic is approximately 12 ms. The relief on the fourth-order sequence boundary (SB) is below seismic resolution. A new method of mapping fourthorder SBs was developed. This method is based on the ability to image planiform morphology along the SB that can be depicted from a sequence of 4-ms-thick stratal slices. This method was successfully applied in the study area, and showed increased resolution when compared to two other mapping methods (manual tracking and proportional slicing). Three methods were tested to correlate SA with PP: (1) direct correlation between SAs and PPs through regression analysis, (2) seismic inversion, and (3) probabilistic neural network (PNN). Among the three methods, the PNN proved to be the best technique. Four uncontacted compartments targeting incised-valley sands in genetic sequence 30 were identified upon analyzing the inverted Vshale volume created using PNN method. Starfak and Tiger Shoal are typical of mature shelf-bound fields in the GOM, with long and sustained production histories. Structural and stratigraphic heterogeneities present opportunities for reserve-growth potential if an improved process for mapping of geologic complexity can be unraveled.