OPPtimal Fault Extraction (OFE)

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Deployed by 13 companies

Increasing resource recoveries & cheaper, safer and more successful operations

Page last modified
April 11 2024

AAPG-awarded, world-first method to generate reliable high-resolution fault volumes from seismic data and link these to various Drilling, Mining, Exploration and Production observations. 
The method allows to:

  • identify and predict fluid barriers, fluid conduits, fault-related mineralisations or drilling & mining hazards,
  • identify and predict fault penetrations in wells or mines,
  • better understand, predict and mitigate drilling, mining and production issues,
  • optimally place wells and mines,
  • reduce risks and costs,
  • increase resource recoveries, and
  • optimise resource developments.  
Pros & Limitations
“Innovator in Geosciences Technology” Award from AAPG in 2013
The new technology method challenges many perceptions of what can be resolved from seismic data, how many smaller-scale faults are present in the subsurface and how these affect drilling & mining operations and the production of resources
Faster, cheaper and more accurate fault identification compared to subjective and time-intensive manual fault mapping
Improved structural definition and understanding of structural geometries and fault/fracture populations
Proper quantification of fault certainty/confidence and fault properties (size, orientation, throw, frequency, density)
Identification or verification of fault intersections in wells or mines
Improved understanding and prediction of fault-related drilling or mining issues: fluid losses/gains, shallow gas, wellbore stability/integrity, well losses, gas kicks, roof collapse, mine losses, water inflow, outbursts, microseismic events, etc.
Improved understanding and prediction of fault-related production issues: fracture productivity, flow enhancement, water or gas channeling, cross-flow between zones or wells, boundaries/baffles to flow, compartmentalization, juxtaposition, etc.
Optimal placing of future wells or mines: drilling and production risk mitigation, direct targeting of productive fault & fracture networks (sweet spots) and undrained fault compartments etc.
Seismic data required as input
Specification Title Specification Description
Higher objectivity, quality, reliability, repeatability and resolution compared to traditional fault mapping
Areas of Application
Any Resources covered by Seismic - Oil & Gas, Mining, Geothermal, Groundwater, Geosequestration, Underground Storage
The technology is fully mature and has already been successfully applied in over 50 studies worldwide
Data Analysis
Evaluation of new deterministic fault volumes and comparison with independently derived well or mine data (if available). Detailed well and asset reviews. Recovery optimization. Detailed well/mine and completion planning
Reduction of Drilling & Mining risks, UTC and CAPEX/OPEX, and increase in Reserves and Production
Seismic data. Additional well or mine data, if available
Various Fault volumes (SEGY volumes) loadable to any industry software package. Reviews of existing and planning of future wells & mines
Typically two weeks for fault processing plus additional time for well or mine data integration.
Ground truthing and blind testing against other data. No calibration required.


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Technology Readiness Level

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) indicates the maturity level of novel technologies. Learn more about the TRL scale used by us.


Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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OPPtimal is an independent, internationally operating Technology Service Company. In addition to providing general Exploration & Development Consulting services, OPPtimal is specialised in seismic reservoir characterisation. OPPtimal has developed innovative & proprietary techniques and workflows that are focused on increasing resource recoveries while reducing drilling, mining and resource exploration & development costs and risks.

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