Mapping the resistivity structure of Walker Ridge 313 in the Gulf of Mexico using the marine CSEM method

Weitemeyer, K, Constable S, Shelander D, Haines S.  2017.  Mapping the resistivity structure of Walker Ridge 313 in the Gulf of Mexico using the marine CSEM method. Marine and Petroleum Geology. 88:1013-1031.

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algorithm, continental-slope, Controlled source electromagnetic, csem, electromagnetic methods, electromagnetic survey, gas hydrate resource, gas hydrates, Joint industry program, magnetotelluric data, method, part 1, Reservoirs, seismic data, sensitivity, terrebonne basin


A marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) campaign was carried out in the Gulf of Mexico to further develop marine electromagnetic techniques in order to aid the detection and mapping of gas hydrate deposits. Marine CSEM methods are used to obtain an electrical resistivity structure of the subsurface which can indicate the type of substance filling the pore space, such as gas hydrates which are more resistive. Results from the Walker Ridge 313 study (WR 313) are presented in this paper and compared with the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project II (JIP2) logging while drilling (LWD) results and available seismic data. The hydrate, known to exist within sheeted sand deposits, is mapped as a resistive region in the two dimensional (2D) CSEM inversion models. This is consistent with the JIP2 LWD resistivity results. CSEM inversions that use seismic horizons provide more realistic results compared to the unconstrained inversions by providing sharp boundaries and architectural control on the location of the resistive and conductive regions in the CSEM model. The seismic horizons include: 1) the base of the gas hydrate stability zone (BGHSZ), 2) the top of salt, and 3) the top and bottom of a fine grained marine mud interval with near vertical hydrate filled fractures, to constrain the CSEM inversion model. The top of salt provides improved location for brines, water saturated salt, and resistive salt. Inversions of the CSEM data map the occurrence of a 'halo' of conductive brines above salt. The use of the BGHSZ as a constraint on the inversion helps distinguish between free gas and gas hydrate as well as gas hydrate and water saturated sediments. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.