Compaction in the reservoir overburden can impact production facilities and lead to a significant risk of well-bore failures. Prevalent practices of time-lapse seismic processing of 4D data above compacting reservoirs rely on picking time displacements and converting them into estimated velocity changes and subsurface deformation. This approach relies on prior data equalization and requires a significant amount of manual interpretation and quality control. We have developed methods for automatic detection of production-induced subsurface velocity changes from seismic data. We have evaluated a time-lapse inversion technique based on a simultaneous regularized full-waveform inversion (FWI) of multiple surveys. In our approach, baseline and monitor surveys are inverted simultaneously with a model-difference regularization penalizing nonphysical differences in the inverted models that are due to survey or computational repeatability issues. The primary focus of our work was the inversion of long-wavelength “blocky” changes in the subsurface model, and this was achieved using a phase-only FWI with a total-variation model-difference regularization. However, we have developed a multiscale extension of our method for recovering long- and short-wavelength production effects. We have developed a theoretical foundation of our method and analyzed its sensitivity to a realistic 1%–2% velocity deformation. The method was applied in a study of overburden dilation above the Gulf of Mexico Genesis field and recovered blocky negative-velocity anomalies above compacting reservoirs.

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