Reducing velocity inaccuracy in complex settings is of paramount importance for limiting structural uncertainties, therefore helping the geologic interpretation and reservoir characterization. Shallow velocity variations due, for instance, to gas accumulations or carbonate reefs, are a common issue offshore Malaysia. These velocity variations are difficult to image through standard reflection-based velocity model building. We have applied full-waveform inversion (FWI) to better characterize the upper part of the earth model for a shallow-water field, located in the Central Luconia Basin offshore Sarawak. We have inverted a narrow-azimuth data set with a maximum inline offset of 4.4 km. Thanks to dedicated broadband preprocessing of the data set, we could enhance the signal-to-noise ratio in the 2.5–10 Hz frequency band. We then applied a multiparameter FWI to estimate the background normal moveout velocity and the η-parameter. Full-waveform inversion together with broadband data processing has helped to better define the faults and resolve the thin layers in the shallow clastic section. The improvements in the velocity model brought by FWI lead to an improved image of the structural closure and flanks. Moreover, the increased velocity resolution helps in distinguishing between two different geologic interpretations.

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