A new technology for creating, reliably and automatically, structural models from interpretation data is presented. The main idea behind this technique is to model directly volumes (the geological layers) rather than surfaces (horizons that are bounding these layers). In order to enforce the geological consistency of the created models another key element is built into this technology: it guarantees that the variations of dip and thickness of the created geological layers are minimized, while all seismic and well data are properly honored. The proposed method enables the construction of very complex structural models, independently from the geological settings, and even when such models have to be built from sparse or noisy data. The full automation of the model construction process allows to rapidly update the model, to efficiently identify the most uncertain parameters, to understand their impact, and to iteratively optimize the model until it fits all available data. To demonstrate the advantages of this technique the construction of a complex exploration-scale structural model of a prospect located offshore Australia is detailed.


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