Surface passive seismic is a direct hydrocarbon saturation indicator technology. It detects the presence of subsurface hydrocarbons by recording and spectroscopically analyzing the low-frequency acoustic/seismic background noise (between 0.5 - 10 Hz) which is actively emitted by the earth. The measurements after filtering and analysis can be calibrated with well data and integrated with other geophysical data to provide information which can lower the uncertainty level for hydrocarbon exploration, appraisal and field development decisions. Surface passive seismic measurements were carried out in Kuwait to evaluate the suitability of the technology to detect and the map the extent of hydrocarbon occurrences. The main concern was the suitability of the technology to differentiate between various reservoirs in carbonate stacked-reservoir environment. The level of certainty in the result of the measurements could not be accurately assessed as there is a possibility that some deep reservoirs have not been penetrated by the wells in the area of the experiment. It was concluded that the technology (at that point) could not indicate the distribution of the hydrocarbon occurrences among the stacked reservoirs since the measured indicators are the summation of the responses of all the underlying reservoir layers. Nevertheless, the areas with highest hydrocarbon potential indication are considered the most interesting ones. A number of advancements in surface passive seismic have been recently reported and research results are indicating that the distribution of the hydrocarbon occurrences among stacked reservoirs is becoming achievable. However, It remains a challenge for the surface passive industry to demonstrate convincing successful case histories.


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