ABSTRACT

Performing accurate depth-imaging is an essential part of deep-water Gulf of Mexico exploration and development. Over the years, depth-imaging technology has provided reliable seismic images below complicated salt bodies, and has been implemented in workflows for both prospect generation as well as reservoir development. These workflows include time domain preprocessing using various multiple elimination techniques, anisotropic model building, and depth-imaging using anisotropic reverse time migration (RTM). However, the accuracy of the depth-migrated volumes is basically unknown because they are tested only in the locations where a well is drilled. In order to learn about the accuracy of anisotropic deep water Gulf of Mexico model building, and depth-imaging tools which are used for processing and imaging of field acquired data, we created a 3D vertical transverse isotropic (VTI) anisotropic earth model and a 3D seismic data set representing subsalt Gulf of Mexico geology. The model and data set are referred to as the Tempest data set, the original being created several years ago. The recent model and data set were created incorporating upgraded technology to reflect recent developments in data acquisition, model building and depth-imaging. Our paper presents the new Tempest anisotropic model, data set, and RTM prestack depth-migration (PSDM) results. The Tempest RTM PSDM is being used to learn about the differences between the exact geological model and the RTM PSDM image, helping in the interpretation of real RTM prestack depth-migrated data.

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