Petrel’s new ‘Probe’

SEG demo showcases new Petrel add-ons including spectacular ‘Probe’ voxel-based interpretation and geobody extraction. Third party add-ons announced from Ikon, Geovariances and Petrosys.

At the 2007 conference and exhibition of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) in San Antonio last month, Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS) described how both it and third party software developers were ‘adding value’ to the Petrel interpretation flagship by leveraging the ‘Ocean’ development framework that was officially released at the 2006 Schlumberger Forum.


Tightest integration with Petrel is achieved by ‘re-factoring’ an application (rewriting the code) to take full advantage of Petrel’s .PET database file. Companies with niche applications can embed their intellectual property (IP) into Petrel and have the resulting composite certified by Infosys.

Data management

Connectivity with external data sources including Landmark, Paradigm and GeoFrame is assured by OpenSpirit. Some of Petrel’s ‘novel’ objects, like uncertainty, can be ‘persisted’ in the Seabed database and managed by ProSource.


Today only master data and Petrel interpretation results are stored in Seabed. In a future release it will be possible to store all Petrel data in Seabed—a potential solution to the reported data management issues that have plagued Petrel in the past.

Probe in Petrel

An example of a ground-up re-write was the appearance of spectacular voxel-based ‘probe’ interpretation technology inside Petrel. This leverages graphics processing units (GPU) for rendering and geobody interpretation. An offshore West African crevasse splay play was shown, with ‘tuning’ of probe amplitudes to optimize discrimination of reservoir sands from shales. A ‘WYSIWIG’ geobody picking tool gives a rough outline to the sand body in a semi automated process which did a reasonable job of following the channel. This was instantly ‘cellularized’ and color coded with seismic-derived attributes.


An SIS-developed microseismic monitoring application has been integrated by embedding new data objects into Petrel. This showed a real time monitoring of a Barnett Shale frac job with a dual display of fracs ‘popping’ with a second window showing engineering data on pumping rate and proppant concentration as a function of time.

Third party apps

Third parties like Ikon Science, Petrosys and Geovariances have joined the Petrel developers’ club. Ikon’s ‘RokDoc’ seismic modeling can be kicked off from within Petrel, a wavelet extracted from the data and then used to build rock physics models. Geovariances’ Isatis geostatistical package can now share data with Petrel and Petrosys has added presentation quality mapping for Petrel—leveraging the Ocean API’s ‘rich connections’ between Petrel and third party or corporate spatial data stores.

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