The remaining potential in many mature fields in the Gulf of Mexico consists of smaller long-reach targets that require ever-more-accurate vertical and horizontal location for drilling precision. This is particularly true at the Lobster field in Ewing Bank, where, during the previous platform drilling campaigns, some midreach prospects were interpreted to have been missed due to mispositioning. Potential future drilling at the Lobster field would target primarily long-reach prospects in areas of significant geologic dip — increasing the risk of missing the prospects. This mispositioning risk could sometimes exceed the geologic risk, and it could have significant impact on the risked reserves and on the economics. Achieving the desired positioning accuracy requires the use of 3D seismic and anisotropic prestack depth migration with accurate velocity and anisotropy models. We have developed a case study of using a long offset walkaway checkshot and a geologic frame of reference to build a tilted transverse isotropy velocity model sufficiently accurate to support potential future drilling campaigns at the Lobster field.

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