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Applied Seismic Interpretation Workshop

James J. Willis, PhD

INSTRUCTOR: James J. Willis, PhD
DISCIPLINE: Geoscience
CEUS: 1.6
AVAILABILITY: Public, In-House, & Live Online

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Petroleum geoscientists, petroleum engineers and those interacting with or supporting these professionals in the search for or the exploitation of hydrocarbons.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this two-day course, we review and apply the basics of seismic interpretation as related to oil and gas exploration, development and production. During the first morning, we review the geophysical principles of reflection seismology without getting deeply into the math. This includes a brief look at seismic acquisition and processing. The first afternoon focuses on tying well data to seismic lines and structural (fault) interpretation. A major exercise has you generate a time structure map in a complexly faulted area.

Day two covers three main topics: (1) mapping seismic sequence boundaries, (2) interpreting depositional environments and likely sedimentary facies, and (3) estimating ultimate recovery for a prospect or newly discovered field.


  • Understand the basic physics behind reflection seismology.
  • Comprehend the seismic display and its limitations.
  • Explain the main types of seismic interpretation methods.
  • Conduct a well-to-seismic tie (transfer of horizons and faults).
  • Identify and map a series of major faults using seismic data.
  • Recognize and map seismic sequence boundaries.
  • Develop a time structure map, including fault traces.
  • Use reflection geometries and attributes to predict depositional environments.
  • Determine the EUR (estimated ultimate recovery) for a prospect or discovery.




  • What generates seismic reflections?
  • What happens before interpretation begins?
  • Seismic displays and their limitations
  • Basic seismic interpretation methods
  • Relating well data to seismic data
  • Extracting structural information
  • Extracting stratigraphic information
  • Generating time structure maps
  • Predicting depositional environments & facies
  • Estimating EUR (estimated ultimate recovery)