Welcome to the Delphi site

The mission of the Delphi Consortium is to develop breakthroughs in the geo- imaging technology for the geo-energy industry. Today, the Delphi research program is sponsored by approximately 30 international companies, including all major NOC’s, IOC’s and Service Companies.

Geo-imaging is one of the most critical technical capabilities of the upstream oil & gas business. Advances in geo-imaging will be decisive in finding and producing new hydrocarbon accumulations in an economical way. This is particular true for the potential reserves in unconventional fields. In addition, geo-imaging is an essential tool in monitoring sequestration processes.

Besides aiming for conducting high-quality research we also strive to optimally bring these results to you. Currently, we give written reports (as PDFS), provide software releases and have twice a year our consortium meetings.Of course, we can always improve. Therefore, click on Delphi Enquête via which you can provide your feedback or  suggestions to our program.

With kind regards, Eric Verschuur

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Seismic Acquisition

Structural Imaging

Resevoir Characterzation

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Acquisition and Preprocessing (A&P) project

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Delphi A&P Projects

The Delphi Acquisition and Preprocessing project (node1) aims at improved data acquisition geometries as well as new preprocessing concepts for land and marine seismic data.

The acquisition and preprocessing project (A&P) contains the following interrelated research topics:

• interactive design for optimum acquisition geometries , including the effect of blending and the extra illumination properties of the multiples;

• the concept of dispersed source arrays (DSA's);

• deblending technology for separating overlapping shot records;

• analyzing the effect of ghosts on realistic sea states;

• source and receiver deghosting, by considering the proper wave theory and realistic sea states;

• solving the complex near-surface problem via integrated full wavefield imaging and velocity estimation technology (i.e. Joint Migration Inversion).


Multiple Utilization & Structural Imaging (M&I) project

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Delphi M&I Projects

The goal of the Delphi Multiple Estimation and Structural Imaging project (node 2) is the transformation of marine (single-component), as well as OBC and land (multi-component) seismic measurements into highly resolved structural images.

The multiple estimation and structural imaging project (M&I) contains the following interrelated research topics:

  • surface-related and internal multiple estimation;
  • using multiples to estimate missing (near) offsets;
  • imaging of blended seismic data, optionally including surface multiples;
  • imaging using also internal multiples, i.e. full wavefield migration (FWM);
  • estimation of the velocity model , i.e. joint migration-inversion (JMI), also including anisotropy and fine-layering effects.

The focus in the M&I project is not only separating primaries from multiples, but also using both primaries and multiples in the migration process (FWM). Hence, multiples are considered as important information. In addition, the migration process has been extended to simultaneously estimate velocity as well (JMI). We expect that multiple utilization and simultaneous velocity estimation will improve the quality of seismic images beyond expectation


Dynamic Characterization and Reservoir Monitoring (C&M) project

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Delphi C&M Projects

The Delphi Dynamic Characterization and Reservoir Monitoring project (C&M) aims at bridging the gap between seismic imaging and reservoir engineering.

The C&M project involves the following topics:

• Joint migration inversion of VSP data (JMI for VSP);
• Broadband, nonlinear, full waveform seismic inversion by using both primaries an internal multiples (FWI-res);
• Reservoir monitoring with JMI and FWI-res (4D);
• Estimation of lithology and porefill, using the output of FWI-res.,
• Joint inversion of seismic and EM data (data assimilation).

Similar to the objective to use multiple scattering in our imaging research, we also utilize multiple scattering in characterization. Using the velocity model as a background medium (output of JMI), it involves a full inversion of the seismic data, not in terms of boundary parameters but in terms of layer parameters (velocity and density). In this way a high-resolution estimate of the elastic reservoir parameters is obtained directly from the seismic data (data-driven inversion).
The main advantage is that internal multiples will contribute to the quality of the reservoir properties, meaning that the concept of primary reflection input is not used anymore.


Creating value with science

Now the industry is recovering from the down term, this may provide new opportunities in research directions. Within the Delphi Consortium, we consider the complete value chain and aim at the interaction between the different stages in the upstream E&P business. That is why we have Acquisition, Processing, Imaging and Reservoir Characterization (and beyond) in our research portfolio, as all these steps need be considered simultaneously in order to maximize the results.

Expectations are that the World’s total energy demand will keep growing, especially in the upcoming economies (see Figure 1a below) and that oil and gas will maintain a steady contribution to the total energy consumption in the next decades, although the renewables will get a larger share, of course (see Figure 1b below). Even in the scenario of a faster transition to low-carbon energy sources (Figure 2) we clearly see that the production of oil is expected to maintain more or less steady for the next two decades and the gas consumption is expected still to grow.

More than ever high-technology tools are needed to get a more accurate view on the potential of established reservoirs and to monitor the production processes in order to maximize recovery in an economic way.

The mission of the Delphi consortium is to give a significant contribution to the realization of these ambitions.

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Figure 1: a) Outlook to the World’s energy demand (Source: ExxonMobil Energy Outlook 2015).

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Figure 1: b) (Expected) primary energy distribution until 2035 (Source: BP Energy Outlook 2016).

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Figure 2: Expected forecast in the scenario of fast growth of renewables (Source: BP Energy Outlook 2016).

A unique property of DELPHI is that scientific results are formulated at different levels of abstraction. This has the advantage that at the DELPHI meetings communication between researchers and sponsors occurs at a conceptual level, containing the essentials only. At lower levels, increasingly more theoretical detail is visible. The lowest level represents the DELPHI software, containing all required detail needed for application at the sponsor’s site.

Background of Delphi

Encouraged by the success of John Claerbout's consortium at Stanford in the seventies, professor Berkhout decided in the early eighties to set up a seismic consortium at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Particularly with the help of one of his students, Paul van Riel (co-founder of Jason Geosystems), he started in 1982 the so-called PRINCEPS-consortium. The objective was estimation of acoustic impedance from seismic data by constrained trace inversion. PRINCEPS started with 5 companies.

From the research in the PRINCEPS-consortium it became clear that the extraction of in-situ rock information beyond acoustic impedance would require analysis of pre-stack seismic data, preferably after removal of the down- and upward propagation effects. Therefore, it was decided to set up a second consortium in Delft that was aiming at distortion-free, angle-dependent input for PRINCEPS. Particularly with the help of Kees Wapenaar (who had just successfully completed his Ph.D. thesis), professor Berkhout founded in 1987 the so-called TRITON-consortium. The objective was target-oriented pre-stack migration, using data-driven multiple removal and true-amplitude redatuming as preprocessing steps. TRITON started with 13 companies.

From the inversion research in PRINCEPS and the migration research in TRITON it became readily clear that both consortia would significantly benefit from a closer interaction. In 1989 it was decided to merge PRINCEPS and TRITON into one consortium: Delphi. The objective of Delphi was an integrated approach to multiple removal, velocty-independent migration and reservoir characterization. Delphi started with 21 companies.

From the integrated research in Delphi it emerged that the success of seismic imaging is largely determined by the way data acquisition is carried out. This particularly applies to the geometrical distribution of the sources and the detectors. Therefore, it was decided to start a third initiative aiming for an acquisition consortium that would investigate the influence of source and detector geometries on the quality of imaging and characterization results. Particularly with the help of Dr. Leo Ongkiehong (a former colleague of professor Berkhout in Shell), the so-called DOLPHIN-consortium was founded in 1995. The objective was to introduce a new approach to the analysis of acquisition geometries by making use of the focal beam concept. An important tool in DOLPHIN was, and still is, the downward- scaled acquisition system that has been built with the group's knowledge on medical imaging instrumentation. DOLPHIN started with 6 companies.

With the help of Dr. Gerrit Blacquière and Dr. Eric Verschuur (who both had successfully completed their Ph.D. thesis), DOLPHIN was fully integrated into the Delphi program as the Acquisition & Preprocessing (A&P) Project. In 2003, Delphi was further strengthened by adding the Reservoir Characterization & Monitoring (C&M) Project in order to make a better connection to the geologists and reservoir engineers.

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