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Economical production of hydrocarbons from submarine fan reservoirs requires a clear understanding of reservoir architecture and fluid flow properties. Seismic profiling has been used to delineate the extent of hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir architecture and associated flow heterogeneities. Outcrop study constrains the architectural interpretation options in field development plans. Seismic modeling of an outcrop of a submarine fan channel complex was undertaken to illustrate the acquisition and processing requirements and interpretation limits for a generic exploration seismic program. Unless appropriately designed, conventional, exploration-grade seismic data will not have the frequency content and resolution capability to image clearly submarine channel complexity of a detail commonly observed in outcrop.

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