Field test of sub-basalt hydrocarbon exploration with marine controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data

Citation:
Hoversten, GM, Myer D, Key K, Alumbaugh D, Hermann O, Hobbet R.  2015.  Field test of sub-basalt hydrocarbon exploration with marine controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data. Geophysical Prospecting. 63:1284-1310.

Date Published:

2015/09

Keywords:

electromagnetic, joint inversion, petroleum-exploration, Sub-basalt

Abstract:

The recent use of marine electromagnetic technology for exploration geophysics has primarily focused on applying the controlled source electromagnetic method for hydrocarbon mapping. However, this technology also has potential for structural mapping applications, particularly when the relative higher frequency controlled source electromagnetic data are combined with the lower frequencies of naturally occurring magnetotelluric data. This paper reports on an extensive test using data from 84 marine controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric stations for imaging volcanic sections and underlying sediments on a 128-km-long profile. The profile extends across the trough between the Faroe and Shetland Islands in the North Sea. Here, we focus on how 2.5D inversion can best recover the volcanic and sedimentary sections. A synthetic test carried out with 3D anisotropic model responses shows that vertically transverse isotropy 2.5D inversion using controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data provides the most accurate prediction of the resistivity in both volcanic and sedimentary sections. We find the 2.5D inversion works well despite moderate 3D structure in the synthetic model. Triaxial inversion using the combination of controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data provided a constant resistivity contour that most closely matched the true base of the volcanic flows. For the field survey data, triaxial inversion of controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data provides the best overall tie to well logs with vertically transverse isotropy inversion of controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data a close second. Vertical transverse isotropy inversion of controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data provided the best interpreted base of the volcanic horizon when compared with our best seismic interpretation. The structural boundaries estimated by the 20-m contour of the vertical resistivity obtained by vertical transverse isotropy inversion of controlled source electromagnetic and magnetotelluric data gives a maximum geometric location error of 11% with a mean error of 1.2% compared with the interpreted base of the volcanic horizon. Both the model study and field data interpretation indicate that marine electromagnetic technology has the potential to discriminate between low-resistivity prospective siliciclastic sediments and higher resistivity non-prospective volcaniclastic sediments beneath the volcanic section.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1111/1365-2478.12278