Fractured basements are not only potential reservoirs for hydrocarbon resources, but they also provide significant storage space for carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration and radioactive waste disposal. However, fractured basements are challenging for seismic imaging methods due to the complexities in their fault and fracture networks, strong heterogeneity, highly variable structural dip, and strong impedance contrasts between the basement rocks and the surrounding sediments. We present a field case in which a walkaway vertical seismic profiling (VSP) survey was conducted at a fractured basement play located in the Bohai Bay Basin, China, to improve the resolution compared with a preexisting surface seismic profile. Using the advanced random-space-shift (RSS) reverse time migration (RTM), we obtain a high-resolution image with a clear delineation of the highly faulted dipping basement. From numerical and field examples, we find that the application of the RSS-RTM improves the final image by mitigating unavoidable errors in the migration velocity model, which would otherwise result in an unfocused image using the conventional RTM approach. In addition, we determine the importance of proper wavefield separation using 3C recordings, which is the key to ensuring the quality of the final image. With an optimized VSP imaging workflow, we provide an enhanced image for the fractured basement to support the geologic interpretations and development decisions.

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