Field Projects

Field Projects are a part of every phase of research at RCP. Integrated teams of geophysics, geology, and petroleum engineering students focus on solving a real-world business problem utilizing datasets provided by our industry sponsors.  This research provides valuable insights to industry and lessons learned from this work include: optimal well spacing, lateral and vertical dimensions of created fractures, understanding best zones to fracture from seismic inversion parameters, and the value of time-lapse seismic when gas comes out of solution to map depleted zones. Our current field projects include:

  DJ-Postle, Colorado


The DJ-Postle Project is RCP’s primary field project for Phase XIX research. A comprehensive dataset acquired by Great Western Petroleum during the completion and production of 13 horizontal wells between 2020 and 2022 will be used to evaluate completion efficiency and well communication in the DJ basin. We plan to fully evaluate the effectiveness of various types of completion designs. 3D P-wave seismic data together with DAS stimulation records will be used to investigate the production driver in the DJ basin. These findings,  integrated with data from previous projects in the nearby regions will yield a comprehensive understanding of production drivers in these unconventional reservoirs. Expected learnings from this integrated field project will include measurement-based recommendations for completion design optimization in the DJ basin, identification of geological features and engineering parameters that are associated with better production performance, and workflows and learnings for completion optimization pilot projects.

Map and gun barrel views of DJ-Postle horizontal wells

  chalk bluff, colorado


The Chalk Bluff DJ Basin Project is RCP’s primary field project for Phase XVIII research. The project focuses on the integration of a comprehensive data set provided by HighPoint Resources. What is particularly unique and exciting about this project is that the ongoing data collection and acquisition presents RCP with the opportunity to influence the subsequent development and production of this reservoir. The ultimate goals of the project are to increase recovery and optimize hydraulic fracturing operations for the cost-effective development of this unconventional reservoir.

In Phase XVIII, we analyzed the relation between production and local geological structures in detail, constrained hydraulic fracture geometry using DAS measurements, and performed pressure and production analysis. The multi-variable analysis indicates an interesting relationship between the local geology and parent well interference on the production performance of the children wells. We will integrate the learnings of this into the next phase, and conduct basin-wide studies to understand the production drivers.

Multi-method geomechanical constraint on fracture properties to understand reservoir dynamics

  Multiple DAS VSP datasets, GOM


Multiple high-repeat time-lapse DAS VSP surveys will be used to improve data quality, test processing flows, and to extract converted waves. The use of offshore DAS VSP is becoming more common place to understand reservoir behavior near wells in between expensive OBC/OBN surveys. Joint inversion using PP and PS (converted) waves is a research area for such data. If shown to be successful, we can improve S-impedance and thereby measure changes in reservoir pressure and saturation discrimination.

GOM DAS VSP data acquisition (from Kiyashchenko et al., 2020), RCP will study PS waves recorded in offshore DAS VSP data

  Ultra-wide offset 3D OBN, GOM


Ultra-wide offset 3D OBN data (maximum offsets in the inline and crossline directions are 65 km and 40 km, respectively) have been acquired in the GOM (that covers the prior 4D DAS VSP project area). To date, these data have been used by commercial vendors for Full Waveform Inversion (FWI) and imaging (hydrophone component only). RCP will examine the 3C geophone components as well. Given the structural complexity of this region of the GOM at these large offsets, the vertical component will also measure S-waves and the horizontal component will also measure P-waves. RCP will analyze the data to understand mode mixing and how to efficiently use this new data type. We will also examine the potential utility of converted waves for reservoir characterization in mini-basins using joint PP-PS prestack inversion. This field research project utilizing extracted data modes will improve FWI application. Further, larger offsets can be used for better S-impedance and density inversion to improve reservoir characterization.

Improved imaging with TGS ultra-wide offset data (from TGS website), RCP will study converted wave modes on large offset data

  Compressive Sensing, powder river, Wyoming


TGS has provided RCP with data from the Powder River basin, Wyoming. This data uses high fold with CS (Compressive Sensing) technology acquisition. This field project will study inversion and reservoir characterization. Utilizing Compressive Sensing in reservoir characterization will highlight the value of inversion products to identify sweet spots. This dataset is currently being processed at RCP.

Existing TGS processed seismic data prior to decimated two-stage sampling, reconstruction, inversion, and AVO-AVAZ analysis



Imaging the deep Jurassic shale and carbonate reservoirs below salt and anhydrite layers is a well-known imaging challenge addressed in this research. This fractured reservoir characterization study is a collaboration with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to enhance sub-surface understanding for improved reservoir development and management of deep Jurassic age fractured carbonate play. Available data includes well logs, VSP and seismic data. Initial work concentrated on improving the characterization of the resource play of the Najmah formation.

The primary focus of this research phase is reservoir characterization of the Marrat formation. Research will incorporate advanced synthetic modeling and field data application. The goals include the development of an optimized workflow to attenuate multiples, and a calibrated and quantitative anisotropic mapping technique for reservoir development and sweet spot identification.

Project results will aid in the development of new technologies for similar resource areas throughout the Middle East.


Field and synthetic data highlighting multiples suppression using Marchenko-based methodology

  PP/PS Inversion 4D time-lapse, North Sea


RCP initiated a new research project in the spring of 2019 with a dataset provided by Lundin Norway. The Edvard Grieg oil field was discovered in 2007 in the Norwegian North Sea and is operated by Lundin Norway. The reservoir lies in a half graben in Haugaland High, composed of multi-source sediment accumulation bounded by unconformities. The late Triassic to early Cretaceous reservoir is composed of aeolian sands, alluvial sands, conglomerate, and shallow marine sands. Imaging challenges arise from the depositional complexity of the field and detailed analysis must be done to plan for future development.

RCP recently performed joint PP-PS pre-stack inversion of the Baseline (2016) and Monitor 1 (2018) OBC surveys to separate saturation and pressure changes (Daneshvar, 2020). The inversion result shows the correlation between the production and injection data allowing pressure and saturation maps to be generated. These maps are valuable for separating the effects of pressure and saturation from development in the field. The project continues with incorporation of Monitor 2 acquired during the summer of 2020. Having three 4-D datasets provides the opportunity to further monitor 4-D pressure and saturation changes, as well as compare time-lapse processing products from two seismic processing vendors.

4D Simultaneous PP-PS prestack inversion in the Edvard Grieg Field. From Daneshvar et al., 2020

  Deepwater project, Brazil


The deepwater offshore Brazil project is a conventional post-salt turbiditic sandstone reservoir with excellent permeability and porosity conditions, with more than 75% NTG and saturated by heavy oil.

Petrobras provides the data for this project. The pilot Permanent Monitoring System (PRM) has  very high repeatability, composed of three seismic surveys, shot approximately one year apart.  The high repeatability enabled feasibility of the monitoring, once modeling indicated there would be very low seismic amplitude changes due to fluid substitution (production and injection).   The seismic data is very high quality, acquired with 4-component fiber optics sensors and full azimuth coverage.  The project integrates logs from more than 50 wells, lab ultrasonic measured elastic properties, petrophysical information, interpreted horizons and production information.

The main project objective is characterization and monitoring of the reservoir, using a multidisciplinary approach integrating geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering.  The research will utilize advanced technologies for data investigations. Lessons learned in this project may be applied to other future fields.

Top) NE-SW lines from 4D time-shifts (left) and difference amplitudes (right). Bottom) Map view of the mean 4D time-shifts inside the reservoir interval. The position of the line shown in the top is represented in the map as a dashed black line. The red arrows over the lines and the map highlight an injection effect (speed-up), while the yellow arrows highlight a zone showing a production effect (slow-down).