British oil giant BP has developed a new seismic imaging technique that has identified more than 200 million barrels of additional resources at its Atlantis field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
As a result of this early success, BP now is deploying this technique to fields elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico as well as in Azerbaijan, Angola, and Trinidad and Tobago, BP said last Thursday.
According to the company, the innovation enabled it to enhance the clarity of images that it collects during seismic surveys, particularly areas below the earth’s surface that complex salt structures previously obscured or distorted.
The sharper seismic images mean that BP can drill new development wells in deepwater reservoirs with higher confidence and accuracy.
Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP’s global upstream business, said: “This technological breakthrough has essentially allowed our team to find a new oil field within our existing Atlantis field. Given the overwhelming success of this project, we are now deploying this technology across BP’s global operations.”
Proprietary algorithms developed by BP’s Subsurface Technical Center were applied on seismic data run at BP’s Center for High-Performance Computing.
BP’s Center for High-Performance Computing is located in Houston and opened in 2013. It enables BP to do complex modeling of geological formations below the surface and to advance new acquisition technologies and survey designs that help see the subsurface more clearly.
The algorithms developed in the Subsurface Technical Center allowed data that would normally take a year to be analyzed to be processed in only a few weeks, accelerating BP’s development decisions for the field.
The developed algorithms enhance a technique known as Full Waveform Inversion (FWI), which matches seismic simulations with existing seismic data to produce high-quality subsurface images.
Ahmed Hashmi, BP’s head of upstream technology, said: “The new technique has produced the best images of this reservoir that we have ever seen.”