April 14 Technical Luncheon - Guest Speaker Bruce Karr (Fairfield Geotechnologies). "Permian Basin Reflections: Past, present and future, a look at high trace density (HTD) data over the Fasken C-Ranch and Mud City surveys"

  • April 14, 2022
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Baxter's InterUrban Grill and online (zoom) option


  • Zoom link to be provided
  • In-person attendance at Baxter's available for TGS members at GST member price.

Registration is closed

April 14  -  Baxter's Interurban Grill (in-person gathering) and online zoom. 

Our speaker, Bruce Karr, will present online.  Bruce is Principal Technical Adviser for Fairfield Geotechnologies and will present some truly amazing examples of outstanding seismic data quality resulting from dense spatial sampling!

Registration opens at 11:30am, Program commences at Noon

The GST is inviting you to an online presentation.

Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 865 2962 8698
Passcode: 787884 

Title:   Permian Basin Reflections: Past, present and future, a look at high trace density (HTD) data over the Fasken C-Ranch and Mud City surveys

Summary:  The Permian has been a prolific hydrocarbon producing basin for over a century, with over 500,000 wells drilled. Current production defies the theory of “peak oil.” Proven reserves in the Permian are at an all-time high. While US oil production declined steadily for approximately 40 years, production changed direction starting in 2007. By 2018, production surpassed 1970 peaks and continued to climb substantially until early 2020. The worldwide pandemic only paused the production in the Permian basin. Increases in production are projected to surpass 2019 highs by as early as 2023.

Seismic data began to play a role in oil and gas exploration in the Permian Basin in the late 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, regional 2D seismic data sought to define regional geology and larger drillable structures. 3D seismic data only started to contribute significantly in the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, onshore 3D seismic was quickly adopted in the Midland Basin. From late 1990s through about 2010, land 3D seismic surveys provided the most insightful data for oil and gas exploration in the US and specifically in the Permian Basin.

Between 2010 and 2018, tighter station spacings and higher fold incrementally improved the quality of 3D land seismic data for oil and gas exploration. During this same time, companies developing unconventional reservoirs shifted capital expenditures away from geology and geophysics to fund more horizontal drilling and completions. The concept of where to drill was gone and development effectively became a mining operation. The shift from exploration to exploitation treated reservoirs as being homogenous. However, after investing billions of dollars, it turns out that the subsurface is complex and more accurate subsurfacepredictions are needed to generate dividends on invested capital. High-trace-density (HTD) seismic data is beginning to further define fine-scale geology and produce robust earth models that influence well planning and completions.

The evolution of seismic data in the Permian Basin is stunning! 3D seismic began to properly image data that may have been out of plane from 2D seismic surveys. It enabled 3D interpretation of geological bodies and that further advanced by geometric attributes from 3D seismic data. The structure and stratigraphy that these data imaged generated a step change in subsurface interpretation. However, attaining better spatial resolution to illuminate and interpret finer details in the subsurface is needed to drill fewer wells with higher production. This in turn generates the highest return on invested capital. HTD seismic surveys began gaining popularity in the Permian Basin because they provide greater geologic detail to create better well plans. HTD 3D seismic survey designs begin to acquire additional data that previous generations of 3D surveys were missing. These data include finer sampling of both near and far offsets, finer lateral sampling, increased fold, broader frequency spectrums through vibroseis sweep advancements, and fuller azimuthal sampling. By doing so, more detailed reservoir architectures are predicted including faults, fracture networks, rock properties, and geologic heterogeneities. This prediction enables data driven well planning that enables the utilization of capital for the highest possible return.

Bio:   Bruce Karr, Principal Technical Adviser for Fairfield Geotechnologies, Worked for Fairfield since 1994 as a Senior Geophysicist, Technical Manager, Processing Center Manager and Technical Sales Manager and not the Principal Technical Adviser. Mr. Karr’s expertise includes 3D and 4D multi-component land data, with particular focus on geophysical problems including long wavelength statics, spectral enhancement, noise attenuation and signal enhancement, depthtime issues, land seismic acquisition design and land field technology.

Mr. Karr received a BS in Geophysical Engineering and a minor in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines in 1988 and began his career with GSI shortly after graduation in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Karr was then transferred to Midland, Texas, where he began processing seismic data. By the early 1990s, West Texas was a prolific region for 3D surveys being acquired in the Midland and Delaware basins.

Mr. Karr has worked with students and professors in partnership with the Colorado School of Mines Reservoir Characterization Project (RCP), Golden, Colorado; the Bureau of Economic Geology Consortium (EGL), Austin, Texas; and the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS), Lawrence, Kansas. Mr. Karr has produced or coproduced a number of papers and presentations concentrating on his areas of expertise in solving geophysical, geologic and reservoir problems. As a member of the Fairfield Geotechnologies team, Mr. Karr uses his knowledge to help clients resolve complex land project challenges in integrated geophysics with geology and reservoir characterization.


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