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A Windows-based integration and interpretation software program is being used by leading sequence stratigraphic consultancy Neftex Petroleum Consultants to help oil and gas companies make informed exploration decisions.
|Wells can be seen geographically in any projection and then presented with available GIS shape files. (Image courtesy of Senergy)|
Senergy’s ODM3 software is used extensively by Neftex to integrate and interpret huge public domain datasets within a detailed sequence stratigraphic framework — the Neftex Earth Model. The Neftex Earth Model is an integrated geological database and interpretation (based on sequence stratigraphic concepts and workflows) comprising thousands of wells and hundreds of maps and sections that provides a plate-to-pore-scale evaluation of global petroleum systems. It is used by many major oil companies as an essential tool in their approach to regional exploration. Neftex also use ODM3 extensively in the sequence stratigraphy-based consultancy projects they undertake for a wide range of national and international oil company clients.
In selecting ODM3 Neftex was looking for a low-cost, highly portable, PC-based well interpretation software with flexibility for the speedy addition of new (sequence stratigraphy) functionality and good linkages to other software (especially global displays such as Google Earth, ArcExplorer, and DAP). It also needed to cope with huge volumes of well data, of which there is a vast amount in the public domain that is underutilized for assisting exploration and production decisions.
After evaluating several well interpretation applications, Neftex came across Senergy’s ODM3, which promised to offer portability, integration, and interpretation of large databases containing diverse datatypes linked into maps and GIS with a user-friendly Windows front-end.
“We met with the programmers and were immediately impressed with the system software,” says Owen Sutcliffe, a project manager at Neftex. “They showed us how ODM3 would load and display our data and then allow users to make interpretations. We discussed how the software could be refined to handle some of our data — most notably sequence stratigraphic accommodation space triangles — and worked with the programmers to get this new functionality in the system. After a successful initial trial, we realized we had found the delivery tool we were looking for.”
Hamish Strang, lead programmer of ODM3 at Senergy, tells a similar story. “We had been selling ODM3 to oil and gas companies for some years when Neftex approached us. They were looking for an integration, interpretation, and presentation tool for their large volumes of global data, and ODM3 fitted the bill almost perfectly.”
Now, some five years after their initial meeting, ODM3 is a central piece of software in the Neftex data workflow — from data collection through interpretation to delivery.
Neftex scours all publicly released information and takes the most useful data (with full copyright permission) to be interpreted consistently within the Neftex Earth Model. This is done in ODM3 and results in an ODM3 database comprising many thousands of consistently interpreted wells and outcrops from across the entire globe and containing diverse, digitally interpreted data, scanned image data, dictionaries, and journal citations. Deliverables from Neftex include ArcGIS projects and ROXAR 3-D cubes along with well and outcrop data, and interpretations are currently delivered in ODM3 format.
The data collection, interpretation, and delivery workflow uses ODM3 from start to finish. After reviewing all publicly available data, the best and most pertinent are scanned, digitized, and loaded into ODM3. These data include wireline logs (digitized to .las format) and core and outcrop images (with copyright permission).
With the database populated, attention turns to interpreting the data to the Neftex global standard. Using functionality in ODM3, Neftex staff can quickly bring up the stored data on wellsticks and begin interpretation, correlation, and mapping.
“Senergy’s ODM3 has some of the best interpretation and visualization functionality we’ve seen,” said Sutcliffe. “We can create a map and build cross-sections directly from it. The wellstick design is very flexible, meaning we can view any kind of data – core images, log data, biostratigraphy — on the same stick, and then build our interpretation on top of that. By having all the data in one place in front of us and offset data also readily to hand, we can make faster and more accurate interpretations within the Neftex Earth Model. The way ODM3 handles data means we can interpret just about any type of downhole or outcrop data we choose.”
By the end of the interpretation phase, the Neftex ODM3 database contains all the data loaded from the original sources, all the references to original documents, and the Neftex interpretation — typically sequence stratigraphy, environmental, and interpretation confidence attributes at a surface — as well as conventional lithostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy data. Using the system’s map front-end, wells can be seen geographically in any projection and then presented with available GIS shape files. While Neftex spatial data are provided as GIS products, ODM3’s ability to display shape files is very useful. “It means we have a great spatial awareness for our well data and can still access this data quickly while reviewing the GIS,” Sutcliffe said. “There are also useful bubble-maps in ODM3 which display geological data on a GIS canvas that are very helpful for defining the nature of subcrops or regional variations in the composition of systems tracts.”
This complete database is then passed on to the client.
“Our studies within the Neftex Earth Model are all about consistent interpretation and integrated data viewed from global to pore scales. ODM3 allows us to view our data on a regional scale yet still access the minutiae of well data very quickly. The front end is effective and easy to use, and its portability and ability to handle just about any data-type makes it extremely useful. It also means much of our work — from initial data-basing through interpretation and onto presentation and delivery — is done on a single platform,” Sutcliffe said.
From here, it’s up to the client how to use the data. “The Neftex Earth Model provides a standardized framework into which proprietary data can be quickly and easily loaded and referenced. Using our information with GIS and their own well data, the client can make enhanced play-fairway decisions and better predictions of stratigraphic prospectivity. It’s all about the speedy integration of Neftex interpretation and client data to make more informed exploration decisions,” added Sutcliffe.
Strang expanded on the integration idea. “We’ve made it very easy to get lots of diverse field-scale and regional data into ODM3 by building direct links to OpenWorks, Openspirit, Petrel, and the like. Ultimately, oil company clients can have a single database containing Neftex global data and their own proprietary data — and then add more diverse datatypes. Biostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy, sedimentology, core description, pore pressure, and more — all these can be handled in ODM3. The software is also widely used by technical consultancies. The result is that the clients have all their data available in a single database which they can draw on when interpreting.”