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CGG authors win SEG award for best paper in 'The Leading Edge'

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Oilfield Technology,

CGG congratulates Fabien Allo, Jean-Philippe Coulon, Jean-Luc Formento and Romain Reboul on being selected to receive the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) Award for Best Paper in The Leading Edge in 2021 for their paper ‘Characterisation of a carbonate geothermal reservoir using rock-physics-guided deep neural networks’. The paper was co-authored with Laure Capar, Mathieu Darnet, Benoit Issautier, Stephane Marc and Alexandre Stopin from BRGM and published in October 2021.

The paper describes how a combination of machine learning and rock physics helped leverage legacy seismic and well data for the characterisation of a carbonate geothermal reservoir located in the Dogger Formation northeast of Paris, France. A large amount of synthetic data, representative of the geological knowledge of the region, was used to train deep neural networks capable of translating seismic amplitudes directly into key reservoir rock properties. The networks were successfully applied to a set of vintage post-stack seismic data. Results from the study highlighted a set of porous and permeable layers encountered at existing geothermal wells that will be used to guide the location and design of future geothermal wells in the area.

The global shift in focus to exploration for geothermal resources in sedimentary basins will see an increased demand in the successful repurposing of technology and data originally developed and acquired for oil and gas exploration. As an example, in France, more than 100 000 km of vintage seismic data is available over the most prospective areas for geothermal heat production. The significance of the technology described extends far beyond this specific case study as it can be applied to any seismic reservoir characterisation project for a range of different industry applications. It is especially effective for exploration cases where well data is limited or even absent, making machine learning a realistic alternative to conventional seismic inversion methods and a more efficient option to fully leverage legacy seismic data before considering the acquisition of brand-new data.

Sylvie Gentier, Director of Energy Transition Research Program, BRGM, said: “The Paris basin has five large aquifers, including the Dogger which has the largest number of low-energy geothermal operations in the world, with 46 operations providing geothermal energy to about 6-7 % of the region’s total population of 11 million people. To meet the Paris Agreement goals, more geothermal development is required but geologically favorable areas are becoming scarce. As a consequence, new projects face increasing subsurface risks, as evidenced by recent project failures. The development and application of new technologies to de-risk and support future geothermal developments is therefore of paramount importance. The work presented in this paper is a first successful step in this direction and a prime example of the value of leveraging oil and gas know-how and exploration technologies to build new de-risking tools for the geothermal industry.”

Dave Priestley, VP, Energy Transition & Environment, CGG, said: “The work described in this paper is just one example of how CGG is bringing its cutting-edge geoscience capabilities to energy transition challenges – in this case combining both geothermal and seismic subject matter expertise and technology. In general, our Geothermal Science experts draw on industry-leading expertise from across a range of geoscience disciplines, and a unique Earth Data library, to better understand and de-risk geothermal resource exploration and development. With a track record of over 150 targeted geothermal projects and two global resource assessments over the last two decades, we provide valuable intelligence to our clients for resource discovery and assessment, and reservoir characterisation, production optimisation and monitoring.”

Read the latest issue of Oilfield Technology in full for free: Spring 2022

Oilfield Technology’s first issue of 2022 begins with analysis from Wood Mackenzie on the disconnect between surging oil prices and US oil production growth and investment. The rest of the issue is dedicated to features covering sand removal technology, dissolvable frac plug technology, digitalisation of offshore operations, annular intervention, oilfield chemicals, subsea compression systems and smart instrument measurement.

Exclusive contributions come from TETRA Technologies, NOV, Archer, Expro, Locus Bio-Energy Solutions, AES Drilling Fluids, MAN Energy Solutions and Winters Instruments.

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