ABSTRACT

Delineating reservoir units is still a challenge for seismic approaches. Even high-resolution crosswell tomographic approaches that produce smooth velocity models to match traveltime data usually provide limited information about the boundaries of subsurface targets. A recent development of seismic traveltime tomography incorporated with a boundary-preserving regularization constraint promisingly helps to resolve ambiguities in reservoir boundaries, while allowing lateral variations. We applied a kind of boundary-preserving traveltime tomography to delineate boundaries of the reservoir and CO2-saturated zones. We chose the minimum gradient support as the regularization to preserve boundaries of the geologic target by penalizing smaller model gradients and smoothing small model variations caused by noise. We evaluated several synthetic and real data applications. Synthetic examples demonstrated that the boundary-preserving algorithm produced improved recovery of the profile shape and velocity values of the blocky targets. Two real applications were for delineating the top and base of the reservoir in the King Mountain field, and for delineating a CO2-saturated zone in the McElroy field. These inversion results suggested that the boundary-preserving inversion is able to provide better delineation of the top and base boundaries of the reservoir and boundaries of the CO2-saturated zone than the conventional smooth-constrained inversion.

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