Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Digital Geology - Bringing the Geological Field Trip into the office environment

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In Digital Geology

we bring a field trip into the office environment

using exhibits of real geology

like Rock Slabs, Cores

and Fossils.

We combine these, with digital overlays

to provide hands on reservoir characterization analysis

underpinning key upstream business decisions.

This is done at various scales of geological analysis

ranging from 'Basin scale'

to 'Grain scale'.

each with their associated work flow

and related upstream decision.

Let me take you on a virtual tour

along the various Digital Geology exhibits

at Shell's Learning Center in Rijswijk, in the Netherlands.

Let's start with the 'Basin scale' exhibit.

At this scale, exploration geologists analyze the geological evolution

of large sedimentary basins through time

and the associated processes of hydrocarbon formation and trapping.

For this, global data sets and plate tectonic reconstructions

are used, which show the development of depositional environment

and plate movements through time, which are crucial

for the understanding of the development of petroleum systems

and the formation of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Once a basin has been identified

we zoom in further to the 'Play scale'

at which we try to assess the various play elements

like the presence of hydrocarbon charge

reservoir development

as well as the presence of seal and structure

in order to arrive at the play map

that defines "how" and "where" a play is likely to work.

This could underpin the decision to acquire new acreage

for example, or to drill an exploration well.

Once an exploration well has been drilled

the newly acquired data, like well logs

cores, and fossils are integrated with the seismic data

at the 'Environmental scale' to interpret the depositional environment

as this governs the overall reservoir architecture and therefore

the fluid flow in the reservoir.

A range of conceptual geological models are constructed

that provide guidance on what type of field development would be appropriate

and whether further data acquisition and appraisal is required

in order to arrive at a robust investment decision.

Once an economic field development has been established

and more well data has been acquired

it becomes important to predict, in more detail

the reservoir architecture and fluid flow, away from the wells

to optimize field developments.

This analysis is done at the 'Facies scale' exhibit

for which a dedicated, fully cored research well was drilled

together with the University of Barcelona and Schlumberger.

The acquired core data is linked through augmented reality

with log data as well as core description and interpretation results

for subsurface uncertainties to be captured in a range

of 3D subsurface models

to underpin field development decisions.

Once a field has been in production for some time

there are later field life decisions to be taken

such as the choice of secondary and tertiary recovery schemes

This requires a thorough understanding

of the composition of the pore network

fluid properties, reservoir heterogeneity

as well as porosity and permeability distributions.

This analysis is done at the 'Grain scale'.

at which small scale heterogeneity

can be analyzed on both clastic as well as carbonate rock slabs.

Finally, the results of the analysis at the various scales

can be visualized and integrated

in Shell's Virtual Reality Center, the iScope

In this collaborative environment

multi-disciplinary teams can come together

to jointly interpret and discuss the outcomes of the various analyses

to arrive at a common understanding underpinning effective business decisions.

The Digital Geology concept

has proven to be an exciting, new, and innovative learning approach

for our young professionals.

It also serves as a platform that promotes collaboration

between the various disciplines within the company

and provides a permanent exhibition of

subsurface work flows and technologies.

The next steps are to acquire additional digital outcrop data sets

like drone footage and panoramic photographs

to be included in the exhibits

further enhancing the virtual experience.

Watch this space!

The Description of Digital Geology - Bringing the Geological Field Trip into the office environment