Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Geophysics and Seismic Interpretation

Seismic Attributes for Exploration and Reservoir Characterisation

Course Code: N049
Instructors:  John Castagna
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days
10 sessions


Business Impact: Students will gain the skills required to select and apply a broad range of seismic attributes including combined attributes in exploration and reservoir characterization projects.

Lecture and exercise materials cover interpretation workflows using attributes currently available on most modern workstations as well as recently developed seismic applications designed to extract the smaller scale geologic details required for the construction of reservoir models.


"Great tutor and great opportunity to learn."

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classroom course comprising a mixture of lectures, data examples, case studies, and practical exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Review seismic wave fundamentals including the convolutional model, tuning, phase and understand the importance of maximizing seismic bandwidth.
  2. Assess the role of post stack attribute tools commonly found in most workstation software in seismic interpretation workflows. Examples include the use of max/min amplitude, instantaneous frequency/phase, curvature, coherency and dip/azimuth attributes as structural or stratigraphic indicators.
  3. Evaluate the role of AVO (amplitude vs. reflection angle) measurements to address specific interpretation problems including fluid prediction and the estimation of elastic rock properties.
  4. Investigate the use of spectral enhancement attributes such as Sparse Layer Inversion in interpretation workflows.
  5. Appraise the use of geo-statistical tools, spectral decomposition, and multi-attribute analysis in reservoir characterization.
  6. Recognize the limitations of AVO tools, post stack inversion, and other seismic attributes.
  7. Develop fit-for-purpose interpretation workflows for several exploration and production problems in the classroom.


Review of seismic imaging fundamentals

  • Rock physics
  • Seismic wave propagation
  • The convolutional model & reflectivity
  • Factors affecting seismic resolution
  • Benefits of 3-D imaging

Overview of commonly used seismic attributes

  • Amplitude attributes
  • Complex trace attributes
  • Spatial attributes
  • Post stack seismic inversion
  • Spectral decomposition
  • Isochron & residual maps

Visualization tools

Elastic response attributes

  • AVO
  • Lambda-mu-rho
  • Elastic impedance
  • Direct hydrocarbon indicators

Spectral enhancement/extension

Reservoir characterization

  • Cross plot analysis
  • Multi-attribute analysis
  • Neural networks
  • Geostatistical analysis
  • Validation and significance testing

Interpretation workflow presentations by class

This course has been designed for geoscientists possessing; 1) a basic understanding of the fundamentals of seismic technology including data processing, 2) having a minimum of three years experience interpreting 3D seismic data, and 3) who are interested in learning more about the application of seismic attributes to achieve exploration, reservoir characterization and production objectives.


John Castagna

Dr. John P. Castagna, a research geophysicist with extensive industry experience in petroleum exploration and development, came to the University of Houston in 2003. Previously, he was a professor for eight years at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to that, he spent 16 years working for Atlantic-Richfield Corporation in a variety of research, operations, and management positions.

In 1995 he served as Distinguished Lecturer for The Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He has served the SEG in various other capacities including: Chairman of The Leading Edge editorial board, Vice-President, Technical Program Chairman, and from whom he received the Reginald Fessenden Award for Technical Achievement. His book, Offset-Dependent- Reflectivity: Theory and Practice of AVO Analysis, is an SEG bestseller.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Texas, Austin - Exploration Geophysics
MSc Brooklyn College - High Temperature Geochemistry
BSc Brooklyn College - Geology
SEG (Society of Exploration Geophysicists)

Courses Taught
N049: Seismic Attributes for Exploration and Reservoir Characterization

CEU: 3.5 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 35 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.