ABSTRACT

High-resolution seismic velocity was obtained using acoustic full-waveform tomography of walkaway vertical seismic profile (VSP) data from an oil field dominated by carbonate rocks, offshore Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The data were collected in a deviated borehole with receivers located from 521 to 2742 m depth. The inversion was performed in the frequency domain. The success of the inversion was determined by three important factors: the starting model, the preconditioning of the input data, and the inversion strategy, which included an appropriate selection of a damping term τ in the Laplace–Fourier transformation. The inversion was performed between the frequencies of 4 and 50 Hz, and a logarithmic data residual was used. The extracted 1D velocity profiles from the final high-resolution velocity model correlate well with the sonic log, and estimated vertical incidence VSP velocities. The predicted data obtained by the final velocity model indicate a generally good fit with the field data, thus confirming the success of the inversion. A reverse time migrated section derived by the final velocity model provides additional structural details. The velocity model indicates anomalous zones of low-velocity values that correlate with known locations of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

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