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Petrel Data Import

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In this article we review import data to Petrel.
The data can be downloaded from



Organization of Input Data

Slides 1-4 of SUMMARY

To organize the imported data folders are used.

There are different predefined and regular (user-difined) folders. Most data can be imported into regular folders (or subfolders), but some data types have a special structure (e.g. Wells, Well Tops and Interpretations).

Inserting new folders:
All folder types are available from the Insert menu; select the folders to add to the project. Folders can be renamed in the Settings (right mouse-click on any folder to enter the Settings window, and change the name under the Info tab).
Regular folders can be created by right mouse-click on the Input tab space and then "Insert folder in the tree..."

Inserting sub-folders:
Sub-folders can be created at any level of any folder. The only exception is for Well Tops, where it is not possible to create sub-folders.
To create sub-folder - right mouse-click on the folder which will a parent folder and then "Insert folder in the tree..."

Folder types Inserting new folders
Petrel Input Tab.PNG Petrel Folder Insert.PNG

Import with Predefined Format

Slides 5-8 of SUMMARY

Petrel differentiates between Import File, which can be found on the File pull-down menu and on the Tool bar, and Import (on Selection), which can be found on the Insert pull-down menu and on the right mouse button menu on folders in the Petrel Explorer. With Import (on Selection) the imported data will be inserted directly into the active folder and therefore only formats which can be held in the active folder will be chosen. If you use Import File instead, the data will be imported and placed in the bottom of the Input window, not inside any folder.

  1. Create a new folder.
  2. Right mouse-click on the folder and select Import (on Selection). The data will be imported into the folder.
  3. Spesify Files of type.
  4. Find the data to import and select the appropriate format. Press Open.
  5. Specify the Template (e.g. Elevation Time or Thickness depth).
  6. Press OK For All if all the files have the same format. If they have different formats, click OK.

Import General (Lines / Points)

Slides 9-13 of SUMMARY

Line and point data are imported into user-defined folders.
If you want to import lines/points data that don’t have an appropriate format, you can use the General ASCII reader.

Available formats for import:

  • Charisma lines (ASCII)
  • IESX Lines, 2D and 3D (ASCII)
  • Kingdom seismic lines, 2D and 3D (ASCII)
  • Seisworks Horizon picks
  • Irap Classic lines (ASCII/binary), points (ASCII)
  • Zmap+ lines (ASCII), fault traces (ASCII)
  • CPS-3 lines (ASCII)

Examples of Line data: 2D and 3D lines from seismic, or faults interpreted from seismic (as fault sticks or fault polygons).

Examples of Point data: Isochore points, points representing a surface, points representing a fault plane (i.e. Well cuts).

No predefined formats available?
Check the List of available formats under the Help menu, or use the drop-down menu Files of type and look at the example format capture at the bottom of the dialog box. If there isn’t one, use a General format.

  1. Find the data and select the General lines/points (ASCII) format. Press Open.
  2. Specify the number of header lines (seen from the Header info file capture).
  3. Make sure X,Y and Z columns match with the file (can be either space or tab delineated).
  4. Data can be imported as lines or as points, since line data are a set of points connected by a line. After the points/lines have been imported, they can always be converted to lines/points, respectively. To do this; simply right-click on the line object and select Convert to Points.

Import Wells

Slides 14-28 of SUMMARY

  • Import well header
  • Import well path (deviation)
  • Import well logs
  • Import well tops

Import well header

A Well heads file is an ASCII file defining the well’s top location (X-Y-Z), name and path length (MD) (well symbol and Unique Well Identifiers are optional).

  1. Create a well heads file using a text editor or Excel and save as a .txt file. Columns can be space or tab delimited. Import (on selection) into the Wells folder. The format is Well heads.
  2. Check that the column numbers match the Header info capture at the bottom of the dialog window.
  3. Each well can have only one name, specified in the Well Header. When importing deviation and logs the name must match. Wells can be identified by UWI or Name. UWI’s can be loaded (A) and controlled later in the Well settings tab in the Project settings dialog (B).

Import well path (deviation)

  1. Import (on selection) into the Wells folder.
  2. Select the correct format.
  3. Match the file name to existing well name.
  4. Select correct survey type and define columns.
  5. Select well type (onshore/offshore) adjust units if necessary.

Once a well is imported the deviation survey can be viewed in a Spreadsheet. To access the deviation survey, right-click on the well in the Input tab and select Spreadsheet. The Deviation survey can be edited after import, but only white columns are editable.

Import well logs

  1. Import (on selection) into Wells folder
  2. Select data files and the correct format (e.g. ASCII or LAS)
  3. Match the file name to the well trace name
  4. Go to Input data tab and set appropriate Data type. Also, if the log data was exported from GeoFrame, make sure the ‘From GeoFrame’ toggle is on.
  5. Select Autodetect or Specify logs to be loaded (best for QC).
  6. If the import dialog suggests Create New under Global Well Log, the log type has not been imported before and a new global well log will be created.
  7. OK FOR ALL: PETREL will try to find this log configuration for all the imported log files.
  8. The new logs are stored under Global well logs in the Wells folder (A). Each well has the logs that belongs only to that well in a Well logs folder (B)

Import Well Tops

  1. Well Tops are otherwise known as picks or markers. They can be imported as Horizons, Faults or Other.
  2. Insert a Well Tops folder.
  3. Right click on the Well Tops folder and select Import (on selection).
  4. Select the files to import and the correct format.
  5. Check the units and attributes and change if necessary. Click OK for All.

Well Tops Spreadsheet

The well tops are sorted by: Attribute, Stratigraphy (+ Faults and Others) and by Wells.
Right-click on the Well Tops folder and select Spreadsheet. This will list all well tops and their attributes.
After import, additional well tops or well cuts can be added by appending a new row in the Spreadsheet and pasting in the rows from an Excel file (Ctrl+C/V).

Import Bitmap Logs

Bitmaps of scanned logs, core photos or any relevant information can be imported. The logs can also be in .jpg or .tiff formats.

  1. Right click on the well and select “Import on selection”. Select the file and correct format (Bitmap Log).
  2. Be sure the file names correspond with the proper well logs and set the start and stop MD.

Organization of Well Data

When there are many well it is a good idea to organize them in sub-folders. This can be done in two ways:

  1. Manually (drag & drop): Right click on the Wells folder and select Insert Folder. Rename the folder (A) and drag-drop the desired wells into it (B). Use relevant names, e.g by Platform name (B) or by Type of wells (C).
  2. By Polygons: Draw a polygon from Make/edit polygons process (A). Change the Line type from Other to Boundary polygon and rename (info tab). Right-click the polygon and select Move wells inside this. All wells in that area inside the polygon will be placed in a new folder (B)

Data Export Options

Most data can be exported. There is a very easy way to export objects/folder:

  1. Right-click on the object/folder and select Export.
  2. In the export dialog box, Petrel will list ONLY the available options for export; look at the Save as type drop down menu and select a format.
  3. Type in the name of the file and click Save.

There are different options for special data types, for example Wells.

  1. Right-click on the Wells folder; selecting Export will export the well heads.
  2. Further down are options to export logs (‘All Logs’) and deviation surveys (‘All Wells’).

See also

How to Import and Digitize from a Bitmap Using Petrel
How to Import Data From Other Petrel Project (Sharing Data Between Petrel Projects)
How to Import ECLIPSE Model to Petrel
How to import production data in Petrel
How to import completion event data in Petrel

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