ABSTRACT

We present a case study of gas hydrate quantification using dense short-offset multichannel seismic (MCS) and sparse long-offset ocean-bottom-seismometer (OBS) data in lease block Green Canyon 955 (GC955), Gulf of Mexico (GOM), where the presence of gas hydrate was interpreted using logging while drilling (LWD) data acquired by the GOM Gas Hydrate Joint Industry Project Leg II expedition. We use frequency-domain full-waveform inversion (FWI) of seven OBS gathers to invert for a P-wave velocity model of an approximately 7 km long MCS profile connecting two LWD sites, GC955-H and GC955-Q. We build the starting model for FWI using traveltime inversion (TI) of the MCS and OBS data. In addition, we use the TI model for depth migrating the MCS stack. At the LWD sites, we constrain the hydrate saturation (Sgh) using sonic and resistivity logs. Unfortunately, as is typical of seismic quantification problems, the FWI model resolution is not sufficient to extrapolate the LWD-based Sgh. Therefore, we apply Backus averaging to the sonic log, at 60 m wavelength, bringing it within approximately 8% of the FWI model and make the assumption that averaging the sonic log is same as redistributing the gas hydrate within the Backus wavelength. In this manner, instead of Sgh, the FWI model is able to estimate the total gas hydrate volume. In the end, we use the FWI model and the migrated stack to constrain the locations and bulk volumes of free gas and gas hydrate. Our results demonstrate that with careful processing, reasonable estimates on locations and bulk volumes of submarine gas hydrate accumulations can be achieved even with sparse seismic data that are not adequate for amplitude-based assessments.

You do not currently have access to this article.