The ability to successfully predict lithology and fluid content from reflection seismic records using AVO techniques is contingent upon accurate pre-analysis conditioning of the seismic data. However, all too often, residual amplitude effects remain after the many offset-dependent processing steps are completed. Residual amplitude effects often represent a significant error when compared to the amplitude variation with offset (AVO) response that we are attempting to quantify. We propose a model-based, offset-dependent amplitude balancing method that attempts to correct for these residuals and other errors due to sub-optimal processing.Seismic offset balancing attempts to quantify the relationship between the offset response of background seismic reflections and corresponding theoretical predictions for average lithologic interfaces thought to cause these background reflections. It is assumed that any deviation from the theoretical response is a result of residual processing phenomenon and/or suboptimal processing, and a simple offset-dependent scaling function is designed to correct for these differences. This function can then be applied to seismic data over both prospective and nonprospective zones within an area where the theoretical values are appropriate and the seismic characteristics are consistent. A conservative application of the above procedure results in an AVO response over both gas sands and wet sands that is much closer to theoretically expected values. A case history from the Gulf of Mexico Flexure Trend is presented as an example to demonstrate the offset balancing technique.

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