Frequency domain visco-acoustic waveform inversion is applied to multi-offsets vertical seismic profile data acquired over a carbonates reservoir in an oil field offshore Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, to produce high resolution seismic velocity and attenuation structures. The starting velocity and attenuation models are obtained from traveltime tomography, and from the centroid frequency-shift method, respectively. Waveform tomography is performed between the frequencies 4 and 50 Hz. To reduce coupling between velocity and attenuation parameters during model updates, a two stage inversion strategy is adopted. During the first stage, only the velocity model is recovered and, during the second stage, velocity and attenuation models are recovered. The density is estimated from empirical correlation derived from sonic and density logs at the borehole location. A judicious selection of the time-damping constant τ, used to suppress late arrivals in the Laplace-Fourier domain is critical to mitigate nonlinearities. Prior to the inversion, data preconditioning is done to transform the data in a form convenient for the visco-acoustic wave equation. High resolution final velocity and attenuation models are obtained. Extracted 1D profiles from the final models generally correlate well with the sonic log and estimated clay content from the gamma-ray log. These observations give confidence to the results. A comparison of the synthetic data generated from the final models and the field data shows a high degree of similarity. The high resolution of the results enables us to readily identify layers and provide a geologic interpretation from Quaternary to Late Jurassic. The inverted models show a stack of layers with alternating relatively high and low velocity values associated with relatively high- and low-attenuation values defining anticlines, as we progressed deeper into the subsurface. The two main reservoirs units in the Lower Cretaceous are clearly identified.

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