Higher-Resolution Sub Surface Imaging
Recorded on March 6, 2012 (90 minutes)

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A Grand Challenge of the hydrocarbon industry is to continuously improve the subsurface images needed to find and produce hydrocarbons in reservoirs.  Today, advances in seismic and gravity data acquisition, electromagnetics, signal processing and modeling powered by high-performance computing, and the nanotechnology revolution are at the forefront of improved reservoir imaging.  Obstacles to this goal include remote-sensing limitations imposed by the physics of the rocks themselves (e. g. energy attenuation with depth, bed thickness and lateral extent relative to signal wavelength, variable rock velocity and density properties that can scatter or complicate input signal), as well as instrumentation and computing power limits.  This presentation will examine emerging research trends and technologies aimed at delivering a more accurate reservoir picture across multiple resource types and production settings.


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Jack Neal is the Strategic Technology Advisor at ExxonMobil Upstream Research.  He is a member of the SPE R&D Committee and co-chaired the Imaging session of the 2011 SPE R&D Symposium from which this white paper grew.  He has worked globally in research, exploration, development, and production assignments with Exxon and ExxonMobil since 1994. His current role at ExxonMobil is to interface between Research, Operations and external parties to develop technology strategies and communicate differentiating technical capabilities.   He has published on geology and geophysical integration in many environments, including the current SEPM best seller, Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology #9, “Sequence Stratigraphy of Siliciclastic  Systems: The ExxonMobil Methodology”.  Neal received a B.Sc from the University of Tulsa and Ph.D. from Rice University in Geology and Geophysics.  

Christine E. Krohn is a Sr. Research Associate at ExxonMobil Upstream Research and the current chair of the Society of Exploration Geophysics Research Committee.   As part of the SEG research committee, she has organized several research workshops and has given a number of keynote speeches.   During her research career, she has worked and published extensively in diverse areas of geophysics including seismic acquisition, receiver coupling, rock physics, near-surface geophysics, crosshole seismic, 3D VSPs, first arrival and surface-wave tomography, seismic-noise mitigation, vibroseis, and seismic inversion.   Chris received a B.Sc. from Emory University and a Ph.D. from University of Texas at Austin in Physics.