Model-Based Seismic Inversion to Delineate Tight Carbonate Reservoirs, Dhulian Area, Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan


  • Z. Arshad Geological Survey of Pakistan Ministry of Energy/ Petroleum Division Government of Pakistan
  • U. Shakir Department of Earth &Environmental Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad Campus, Sector E-8, Shangrilla Road, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • M. Hussain Landmark Resources, Blue Area, Islamabad, Pakistan


Development of new technologies and integration concepts are required for remunerative exploration and effective exploitation of hydrocarbons. Seismic inversion is one of these latest techniques which allows accurate prediction of reservoir litho-facies and distribution of petrophysical properties (e.g., clay volume and porosity) within intricate corridors. Seismic inversion is a technique that brings out purposeful information from seismic data for reservoir characterization. In this study, an effort has been made to establish a correlation between the conventional method for exploration of hydrocarbons and post-stack model-based seismic inversion. The research work done on Dhulian area mainly exhibits complex features due to the compressional regime. Petrophysical analysis has indicated reservoir formations at the level of Paleocene and Eocene formations and has shown fair potential of hydrocarbon accumulation in Sakesar Limestone as compared to other zones. Structure studied through geology and literature review is popup anticline with thrust faults which is also clearly delineated on seismic data. Seismic Attribute analysis provides a clearer image of the subsurface, highlighting reservoir qualities and indicating the presence of hydrocarbons at the level of Paleocene and Eocene formations. Contour maps and 3D depth maps show structure is deepening towards North-East and is shallow in South-West. Estimated porosities from seismic inversion also give adequate limestone porosities for Sakesar Limestone to be a reservoir. Geo-statistical analysis is applied to establish a relationship between well-log data and seismic data to study rock properties and has shown a good correlation coefficient between them.

Author Biography

Z. Arshad, Geological Survey of Pakistan Ministry of Energy/ Petroleum Division Government of Pakistan

Geological Survey of Pakistan

Assistant Geophysicist,


Y. Wang, “Seismic inversion theory and applications.â€â€™ London: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Ltd., pp. 1-3, 2016.

T. Gogoi and C. Rima, “Estimation of petrophysical parameters using seismic inversion and neural network modeling in Upper Assam basin, India", Geosci. Frontiers, vol. 10, issue 3, pp. 1113-1124, 2019.

M. Huuse and D. A. F. , “Seismic inversion for acoustic impedance and porosity of Cenozoic cool-water carbonates on the upper continental slope of the Great Australian Bightâ€, Marine Geol. , vol. 215, issue 3-4 , pp. 123-134, 2005.

M. Riaz, P. Nuno, T. Zafar and S. Ghazi, “2D Seismic Interpretation of the Meyal Area, Northern Potwar Deform Zone, Potwar Basin, Pakistanâ€, Open Geosci., vol. 11, issue 1, pp.1-16, 2019.

W. Mehmood, N. Aadil and Y. Jadoon, “3-D Structural Modelling of Meyal Field, Potwar Sub-basinâ€, The Nucleus, vol. 53, issue 1, pp. 26-32, 2016.

M. Riaz, N. Pimentel, S. Ghazi, T. Zafar, A. Alam and S. Ariser, “Lithostratigraphic Analysis of the Eocene reservoir units of Meyal Area, Potwar Basin, Pakistanâ€, Himalayan Geol., vol. 39, issue 2, pp.72-81, 2018.

S. Hasany and U. Saleem, “An Integrated subsurface geological and engineering study of Meyal field, Potwar Plateau, Pakistanâ€, Ann. Tech. Conf., Islamabad, Pakistan, pp. 205-234, 2012.

S. Ghazi, T. Aziz, P. Khalid and M. Sahraeyan, “Petroleum play analysis of the jurassic sequence, Meyal-field, Potwar Basin, Pakistanâ€, J. Geol. Soc. of India, vol. 84, issue 6, pp.727-738, 2014.

I.B. Kadri, Petroleum Geology of Pakistan: sedimentary basins and their evolution, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, 1995.

M.A. Khan, R. Ahmed, H.A. Raza and A. Kemal, “Geology of Petroleum in Kohat-Potwar Depression, Pakistanâ€, AAPG Bull., vol. 70, issue 4, pp. 396-414, 1986.

L. Chen and S. Khan, “Geomorphometric features and tectonic activities in sub-Himalayan thrust belt, Pakistan, from satellite data", Comp. Geosci., vol. 35, pp. 2011-2019, 2009.

T.M. Jaswal, R.J. Lillie and R.D. Lawrence, “Structure and evolution of the northern Potwar deformed zone, Pakistan", AAPG Bull., vol. 81, issue 2, pp. 308-328, 1997.

A. Kazmi and M. Jan, “Geology and tectonic of Pakistanâ€, Geology and tectonic of Pakistan, Karachi: Graphic Publication, pp. 130-141, 1997.

W.A.K. Jadoon, I.B. Shami and I.A. Abbasi, “Fracture analysis of khaur anticline and its implications on sub-surface fracture systemâ€, Ann. Tech. Conf., Islamabad, Pakistan, pp. 3-5, 2003.

E. Gee, “Overview of the geology and structure of the salt range with observations on related areas of northern Pakistanâ€, Geol. Soc. of America, Special Papers, vol. 232, pp. 95-112, 1989.

S. Ahmed, I. Ahmad and M.I. Khan, “Structure and stratigraphy of the paleozoic and mesozoic sequence in the vicinity of Zaluch Nala, Western Salt Range, Punjab Pakistanâ€, Pak. J. of HC Res., vol. 15, pp. 1-8, 2005.

Z.A.D. Muhammad, T. Maryam, A. Anwar, S. Bakhtawer and N. Naseem, “Characterization and probabilistic estimation of tight carbonate reservoir properties using quantitative geophysical approach: a case study from a mature gas field in the middle indus basin of Pakistanâ€, J. of Petro. E & P Tech. vol. 10, issue 7, pp. 2785–2804, 2020.

A. Brown, "Understanding seismic attributesâ€, Soc. of Expl. Geophys., vol. 66, issue 1, pp. 47-48, 2001.

M.F. Mahmood, Z. Ahmad and E. Muhsan, “Total organic carbon content and total porosity estimation in unconventional resource play using integrated approach through seismic inversion and well logs analysis within the Talhar shale, Pakistanâ€, J. of Nat. Gas Sci. and Eng., vol. 52, pp. 13-24, 2018.

S. Mallick and Ng. Patrick, “A comparison of post-stack and pre-stack inversion of seismic data", SEG Tech. Prog. Expanded Abs. 1995: Soc. of Expl. Geophys., pp. 651-654, 1995.

D. Cooke and J. Cant, “Model-based seismic inversion: comparing deterministic and probabilistic approachesâ€, CSEG Rec. vol. 35, issue 4, pp. 29-39, 2010.

F. Barclay, A. Bruun, K.B. Rasmussen, J.C. Alfaro, A. Cooke, D. Cooke, D. Salter, R. Godfrey, D. Lowden, S. McHugo and H. Ozdemir, “Seismic inversion: Reading between the linesâ€, Oilfield Rev., vol. 20, issue1, pp. 42-63, 2008.

B. Russell and D. Hampson, “Comparison of post-stack seismic inversion methodsâ€, SEG Tech. Prog. Expanded Abs. 1991: Soc. of Expl. Geophys., pp. 876-878, 1991.

C. Jain, “Effect of seismic wavelet phase on post stack inversionâ€, 10th Biann. Int. Conf. expo., p. 410, 2013.

P.C.H. Veeken and A.M. Da Silva, “Seismic inversion methods and some of their constraintsâ€, First break, vol. 22, issue 6, 2004.

P.E. Gavotti, D.C. Lawton, G.F. Margrave, and J.H. Isaac, “Post-stack inversion of the Hussar low frequency seismic dataâ€, CREWES Res. Rep., vol. 24, 2012.

A. Haas and O. Dubrule, “Geo statistical inversion-a sequential method of stochastic reservoir modelling constrained by seismic dataâ€, First break, vol. 12, issue 11, 1994.

D.G. Bowen, T. Kennaird, J. Hill and E.J. Frost, “Reservoir description: A synergistic approach to more accurate determination of oil and gas reservesâ€, 1990.




How to Cite

Z. Arshad, U. Shakir, and M. Hussain, “Model-Based Seismic Inversion to Delineate Tight Carbonate Reservoirs, Dhulian Area, Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan”, The Nucleus, vol. 58, no. 1-4, pp. 9–17, Feb. 2022.




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>