We have acquired and processed 3D vertical seismic profile (VSP) data recorded simultaneously in two wells using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) during the acquisition of the 2012 Mars 4D ocean-bottom seismic survey in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The objectives of the project were to assess the quality of DAS data recorded in fiber-optic cables from the surface to the total depth, to demonstrate the efficacy of the DAS VSP technology in a deepwater environment, to derisk the use of the technology for future water injection or production monitoring without intervention, and to exploit the velocity information that 3D VSP data provide for evaluating and updating the velocity model. We evaluated the advantages of DAS VSP to reduce costs and intrusiveness, and we determined that high-quality images can be obtained from relatively noisy raw 3D DAS VSP data, as evidenced by the well 1 image, probably the best 3D VSP image we have ever seen. Our results also revealed that the direct arrival traveltimes can be used to assess the quality of an existing velocity model and to invert for an improved velocity model. We identified issues with the DAS acquisition and the processing steps to mitigate them and to handle problems specific to DAS VSP data. We described the steps for conditioning the data before migration, reverse time migration, and postmigration processing to reduce noise artifacts. We outlined a novel first-break picking procedure that works even in the absence of a strong first arrival and a velocity diagnosis method to assess and validate velocity models and velocity updates. Finally, we determined potential applications to 4D monitoring of fluid movement around producer or injector wells, identification of active salt movements, and more accurate imaging and monitoring of complex structures around the wells.

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