World-class training for the modern energy industry

Practical Seismic Interpretation (G027)

  • TypeType: Classroom
  • TypeDiscipline: Evaluation Methods, Geophysics
  • TypeDuration: 4 Days


Rachel Newrick: Consultant Geophysicist, Racian Ventures

John Randolph: Consultant Geophysicist


This class provides an overview of seismic wave propagation, discusses important issues related to seismic data acquisition and imaging, and introduces students to practical seismic interpretation workflows, including mapping techniques. Additional topics, such as seismic attributes, borehole geophysics, reservoir characterization and reservoir surveillance, are also included. Technical discussions will cover both conventional and unconventional reservoir topics.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 4-day in-person classroom course, comprising a mix of lectures (65%) and hands-on exercises (35%). The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Five 4.5-hour interactive online sessions presented over 5 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course. Some reading and several exercises are to be completed by participants off-line. Multiple choice quizzes will be utilized to reinforce learnings.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. Intended for early career geoscientists and for technical support staff who work with seismic data.


You will learn to:

  1. Explain the fundamentals of seismic wave propagation and factors affecting resolution at the reservoir level.
  2. Calibrate seismic data using well data.
  3. Communicate effectively with data acquisition and processing specialists.
  4. Execute an effective interpretation workflow for a 2-D seismic project.
  5. Apply interpretation fundamentals to design a 3-D workflow on a workstation.
  6. Utilize multiple offset volumes to perform reconnaissance AVO analysis.
  7. Apply basic seismic sequence stratigraphic interpretation principles.
  8. Perform time-to-depth conversions using simplified velocity models.
  9. Utilize common seismic attributes to characterize reservoirs.
  10. Generate volumetric estimates of recoverable reserves (EUR).

Course Content

Workflow training begins with the calibration of seismic data, the establishment of correlation loops and structural contouring. More advanced workflows, including depth conversion and the practical application of AVO using multiple offset volumes in the interpretation process, will be demonstrated. Direct hydrocarbon indicators and basic principles of seismic sequence stratigraphy will also be discussed during the lectures and exercise sessions.

Part 1

  • What is seismic data? What can it do? What are its limitations?
  • Introduction to seismic wave propagation and elastic behavior of rocks
  • How is seismic data recorded?
  • What is required to generate useful subsurface images?
  • What can go wrong?
  • The interpreter’s role in working with acquisition and processing specialists

Exercise: Seismic well ties using synthetic seismograms or VSPs.

Part 2

  • A practical 2-D seismic interpretation workflow
  • Understanding the geology of a project
  • Identifying critical geologic risk factors

Exercise: Constructing an interpretation baseline for a project.

Exercise: Tying interpretation loops for multiple horizons.

Exercise: Constructing a lineament map to guide the interpretation.

Exercise: Generating a structure map.

Exercise: Construction and use of isochron maps.

Exercise: Using 3-D time slices to validate an interpretation.

  • A simplified approach to time / depth conversion

Part 3

  • A 3-D interpretation case history

Exercise: Using time slices to validate an interpretation.

  • Using stratal slices to characterize a reservoir
  • Useful seismic geometric attributes
  • Reservoir characterization: What rock parameters can seismic ‘see’?

Exercise: Use of direct H/C indicators to estimate reservoir size.

  • Seismic inversion tools
  • AVO Interpretation workflows using multiple offset volumes
  • Unconventional reservoirs:
    • tomographic velocity models and reservoir stress
    • fracture characterization tools
    • benefits and limitations of using fiberoptic sensors
    • can seismic data image stimulated rock volume?
  • Wrap-up discussion

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