Abstract

Modern 3D seismic surveys are often of such good quality and 3D interpretation packages so user-friendly that seismic interpretation is no longer exclusively carried out by geophysicists. This ease-of-use has also been extended to more quantitative workflows, such as 3D prestack inversion, putting it in the hands of the “nonexpert” — be it geologist, engineer, or new-hire geophysicist. Indeed, given good quality input seismic data, almost any interpreter who can generate good well ties and define an accurate background model of P-impedance, S-impedance, and density can generate a quality prestack inversion. Two of the authors are new geophysicists who fell into the prestack inversion “pit.” Fortunately, they were able to recognize that something was wrong. We applied prestack inversion to gathers that were carefully reprocessed by a major service company. The problem, however, was not with the processing, but with our lack of understanding of the input legacy data that formed part of a larger “megamerge” survey. Not all of the surveys that were merged had the same offset range. In the migration step, gaps in long offsets of the older surveys were not muted. Migration noise from newer surveys was allowed to fill this space. We share our initial workflow and suspicious results. We also clarify the meaning of “fold” and “offset” for prestack-migrated gathers. In addition to presenting some QC tools useful in analyzing megamerge surveys, we show how, by limiting the offsets used in our prestack inversion, we obtain less aggressive but still useful results.

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