Seismic Reflection Fundamentals with Dr William Ashcroft
Review by Nick Waters
Seismic reflection consists of a labyrinth of laws, terms and acronyms. This regularly makes it intimidating for non-geophysicists. This 3-day course accomplished its goal in simplifying seismic reflection by utilising a combination of teaching methods. A clear, well-written course manual, interesting practical exercises both computer and paper based, cumulating in a depth conversion and interpretation of the West Sole Field in the Southern North Sea, plus the first-hand experience of a highly knowledgeable geophysics professional brought to life, for what to many, is a daunting subject but an integral part of the industry.
Day one’s topics included outlining the seismic wavelet, seismic signals, seismic acquisition and the basics of seismic processing. Each of these subjects was clearly explained with the use of well-illustrated diagrams, practical exercises and ‘real world’ examples.
Day two started with a more in-depth look at some of the main processing techniques used for both 2D and 3D seismic data and the potential problems that may arise. Following this, seismic attributes were discussed in relation to using them to aid interpretation and contribute to reservoir architecture.
Day three moved into the importance of seismic as a contributing factor in the interpretation of reservoir properties. Discussion focused on AVO analysis and led on to types of quantitative interpretation utilised today. The course finished with the latest acquisition techniques: 4C, 4D and wide bandwidth seismic surveys.
All participants, a range of geologists and engineers in various stages of their career found the course interesting and worthwhile attending. The computer-based tutorials utilised pieces of software written by the presenter. They were simple, yet effective in reinforcing the key concepts conveyed in the manual. Everyone received a copy of the presenter’s book, A Petroleum Geologist’s Guide to Seismic Reflection, which complements the course manual and adds further detail to each of the topics covered. Also included was a CD-ROM with all the proprietary software and tutorials completed during the course allowing the participants to review the material covered.
As a young professional Geoscientist currently looking for a new opportunity, furthering my technical ability during a time of uncertainty within the industry is important to me. This course helped cement the seismic reflection fundamentals that will help me throughout my career within the Oil and Gas industry.