The virtual source method is a breakthrough that allows us to image and monitor the subsurface in cases where surface seismic or VSP fail to deliver. In settings where the overburden is complex or changing, traditional time-lapse signals are weak or nonrepeatable, leading to ineffective seismic input to reservoir modeling and little of value generated by repeated seismic surveys. On the other hand, the virtual source method allows us to image under complex overburden, yields repeatable data for reservoir monitoring, enables shear seismic, and may help us “look ahead” as we drill.

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