Rock Physics Modelling: Converge

Visual programming application

ConocoPhillips


Challenge

An important activity in characterizing natural reservoirs of petrochemicals is constructing models of rock physics, which represent how properties of rocks result in observable characteristics. This model-centric approach contrasts with an analysis-based approach, which reasons backwards from observables to rock properties. The process used in the model-centric approach consists of:

  • creating the 'forward logic' of the model
  • tuning input parameter values until the output resultants reconcile with measured data, which ensures that the logic is realistic
  • using the entire package of logic, parameters, and resultants to investigate new environments

ConocoPhillips sought to develop a tool that would implement this model-centric approach, and also provide:

  • flexibility of construction, not imposing any particular canon of models and able to adapt to changing understanding of
    rock physics
  • a high-level execution framework, in which users could interactively link computational models to create forward logic
  • hot updates, automatically recomputing outputs when input
    values change
  • inversion: the ability to optimize inputs based on desired
    output values

Solution

Enthought developed Converge, which provides a highly flexible visual programming environment for developing forward models for seismic petrophysical analysis. Expert users can define dataflows by connecting 'chips' that represent transformation functions. These functions can be combined graphically to meet the needs of the modeling problem, without writing code. However, if a novel function is needed, the user can write a script for it and turn it into a chip to use the dataflows. In this case, writing of script code is limited to small, reusable modules, rather than entire models. Converge's optimization feature provides inversion capability for tuning models.

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