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Mahogany; seismic technology leading to the first economic subsalt field



Mahogany; seismic technology leading to the first economic subsalt field



SEG Annual Meeting Expanded Technical Program Abstracts with Biographies 65(Pages 1161-1164



Phillips Petroleum has been involved in the Gulf of Mexico subsalt play since the 1989 Central Gulf lease sale. In 1990, we acquired the Ship Shoal 349 and 359 leases, better known as Mahogany. At that time, Phillips (and the rest of the oil and gas industry) lacked the seismic imaging capabilities required to adequately define drillable prospects below the salt. By 1991,we had developed a 3-D poststack depth migration that allowed a prospect to be defined beneath the allochthonous salt sheet on the Mahogany prospect. The potential was large enough to offset the risk of testing such a new play concept. The result was the Mahogany discovery in 1993. Continued improvements in subsalt imaging using 3-D prestack depth migration have played a key role in the further development of the Mahogany field. With the more accurate and better resolved subsalt structures, it is now possible to analyze waveform variations using techniques such as AVO and seismic inversion to help determine reservoir attributes. Prestack seismic imaging combined with advanced waveform analysis techniques are providing the information necessary to successfully exploit the hydrocarbon reserves at Mahogany.

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