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Seismic Reflections of Rock Properties

sftjThis book provides a comprehensive and accessible guide to the application of rock physics for seismic analysis and interpretation to aid in the search for hydrocarbon reservoirs in oil and gas prospecting. The book starts by introducing the reader to the basics of rock physics-based forward modelling before moving on to more advanced topics such as practical approaches to frontier exploration, advance rock physics applications and computational rock physics (an evolving technique).

The book is 324 pages long with 7 main sections broken into 19 chapters overall. It is beautifully prepared and well-illustrated throughout.

Dvorkin, Gutierrez and Grana initially discuss the rock-physics-based forward modelling approach following three basic steps:

  • Varying rock properties systematically (such as lithology, porosity, rock type, pore fluids, reservoir geometry and so on) to generate synthetic seismic traces;
  • Comparing these synthetic seismic traces to actual seismic traces from a wide database of field examples;
  • Drawing conclusions based on the idea that similar seismic traces are generated by similar physical rock properties in the sub-surface, which allows the inference of rock properties from actual seismic traces.

The overall outcome of this method is to generate an accurate geological and geotechnical model (pseudo-wells) of the subsurface. Various case studies based on real well data along with sample synthetic seismic reflections (such as siliclastic and carbonate rocks) from key realistic reservoir models provide a helpful reference catalogue for the reader.

This small hardback book is logically laid out and it includes an extensive set of references, highlighting how well published the authors are on the subject of rock physics, particularly Jack Dvorkin. Numerous figures are presented throughout the text and help illustrate the highly technical subject; however the graphs are typically presented on a small scale due to the A5 nature of the hardback book and some of finer details maybe lost. A nice surprise was the inclusion of the direct hydrocarbon indicator checklist within the appendix as this provides a useful reference for practical application by the reader.

The book is well written and reasonably priced, particularly the kindle version. It provides more of a reference volume than an ‘light reading’ for a non-specialist and as such I would recommend the book to experienced petroleum geoscience professionals.

Reviewed by Caroline Mason

SEISMIC REFLECTIONS OF ROCK PROPERTIES by JACK DVORKIN, MARIO A. GUTIERREZ and DARIO GRANA, 2014. Published by Cambridge University Press, 324pp ISBN 978-0-521-89919-2 Hardback List Price £51.00