Abstract

Full-waveform inversion (FWI) is commonly used in model-building workflows to improve the resolution of the shallow velocity model and thus has a potentially positive impact on the imaging of deeper targets. This type of inversion commonly makes use of first arrivals from the longest offsets. However, signal from smaller offsets and later times can extend the depth range of the FWI-derived velocity model. Waveform inversion methods that use reflections have been shown to provide greater details and accuracy when deriving velocity models for deepwater exploration and production. The derived velocity sometimes provides an improved migrated image useful for interpretation in complex geology and enhances geologic features such as subsalt sediments, faults, and channels. We have used combination of FWI and a wavefield inversion approach known as reconstructed wavefield inversion (RWI) that makes use of diving waves and reflections to derive a velocity model for a deepwater survey off the coast of Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico. The velocity model we derived from this approach produces an improved image of the target reservoir, and furthermore contains enough geologic details for direct interpretation. We enhanced the resolution of the velocity model further by performing a poststack amplitude inversion with the FWI + RWI derived velocity used as the input low-frequency model. The resulting high-resolution velocity provides an excellent product for detecting shallow gas anomalies, delineating a gas reservoir in an anticline structure as well as a system of deep, sand-filled channels. The inverted velocity also indicates a better correlation with sonic velocity measured from two blind wells than the initial tomography velocity, indicating the benefits of FWI approaches for quantitative reservoir characterization in deepwater environments.

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