M. K. Jenyon*

*7 Highdown Drive, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BNI 7 6HJ.


Deciding on the viability of a salt deposit as a possible site for storage-cavern solution mining requires detailed geological studies of the salt and of its confining formations. Borehole data alone can seldom deliver the information required for such a study. It can impart great detail of the subsurface but only at the actual borehole location in an area. The most practical approach to developing 3D information is to carry out a seismic survey tied in to one or more boreholes which have been logged geophysically. Ideally, a high-resolution seismic survey is needed to study relatively shallow zones of the subsurface and resolve the top and base of fairly thin beds. However in some cases it is possible to use “reach-me-down” seismic data acquired previously during hydrocarbon exploration. Although these data were not designed to meet the requirements of salt deposit studies, they may still be adequate for the purpose. Their use will lead to quicker and lower-cost results than the commissioning of a full field seismic survey with concomitant processing, although in both cases a seismic interpretation would be required.

Key words:  storage caverns, salt, seismic data, areal solution, basin-edge, salt/fault effects, differential flow, solution/collapse.

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