About the project
The development and management of oil and gas reservoirs is based on accurate and realistic 3D computer models of the subsurface geology. The geometry of the rock layers and geological features are mapped with limited resolution using methods such as seis mic surveys and core analysis, and then assigned physical characteristics relating to how fluid flows through the reservoir. To give more detailed knowledge of geological features, geologists study exposed areas of rock on the earth's surface (termed outcrops), which are representative of the geology in the reservoir. Using state-of-the-art digital mapping techniques, such as laser scanning, to make virtual reality models of the rock outcrops, geologists can analyse features and ultimately apply new insights back to the subsurface reservoirs.
This project aims to use advances in mobile computing to assist geologists in their interpretation of outcrops in the field. Tablets are becoming ubiquitous and are now suitable for visualising and interacting with 3D VR models. A tablet-based application will be developed that will allow 3D models and new camera images to be interpreted in the field directly. The project will explore how interpretations can be efficiently made in the field, and develop workflows for seamlessly integrating them into existing model data. These interpretations will be used to generate statistical training images for modelling geological features in reservoir models. The project is collaboration between Uni Research, Bergen, and the University of Aberdeen, UK, and will fund two PhD students over a timeframe of 3.5 years. Geology, geomatics and computer science will be married in this interdisciplinary study, which will generate new knowledge on acquiring and using outcrop data for sub surface reservoir modelling. The project forms an extension of the ongoing SAFARI programme, funded by the Research Council of Norway and the FORCE consortium of oil and gas companies operating on the Norwegian shelf.