Fast-Track 2D Seismic Processing While Drilling to Ameliorate Foothills Exploration and Optimize Well Trajectory: An Example from the Central Kurdistan Region of Iraq

  • François SapinEmail author
  • Hassan Allouche
  • Grégoire Sterbecq
  • Bertrand Chevallier
  • Boerre Eriksen
Part of the Frontiers in Earth Sciences book series (FRONTIERS)


Complex mechanical stratigraphy and misplaced formation tops often make petroleum exploration of foothills domains extremely challenging. As a consequence, proper seismic imaging, as well as good geological knowledge, are mandatory to optimize a well trajectory that is suited for all the targeted objectives Although the stratigraphy of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, is relatively simple, the tightening of the structures often leads to the activation of internal mechanical discontinuities and a shift of the main objectives. As a result, as is typically the case in foothills, side-tracked wells have to be carefully planned. In this case study, the first leg of the well demonstrated that the current seismic image was structurally incorrect and would not allow penetration of the deepest objectives. As consequence side-track was planned. A fast-track processing on the closest 2D line was performed to correct the dips of the drilled formations. The output helped optimize the side track trajectory and to drill ahead with better constraints.


Foothills Seismic imaging Seismic interpretation 



The authors would like to thanks Marathon Oil Company for agreeing to the publication of this paper. We also are grateful to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Ministry of Resources for their authorization to publish this paper. We would like to express our deepest thanks to the research team of Sulaimaniya University (Dr. S.H. Ahmed, Dr. S.H.S. Hassan, Dr. I.M.J. Mohialdeen, Dr. F.A. Ameen, Dr. D.H.M. Ameen, Dr. I.M. Ghafor, Dr. F.M. Qader, Dr. A.K.S. Bety, Dr. D.F. Hamamin, Dr. Amanj and Dr. G.A. Hamasur), Dohuk University (Mr. H.S. Shaban and Dr. N.T. Shamoun) and Geological Survey of Sulaimaniya (Dr. N.M. Kadir and Dr. S.F. Ahmad) who helped us greatly in our field campaigns with their knowledgeable advices and enthusiasm.

We are also thankful to our reviewers and editor whose constructive remarks and comments helped a lot to improve this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Sapin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hassan Allouche
    • 1
  • Grégoire Sterbecq
    • 1
  • Bertrand Chevallier
    • 1
  • Boerre Eriksen
    • 2
  1. 1.Total E&P Exploration Mena Hub-DubaiDubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Marathon Oil CompanyHoustonUSA

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