Abstract

Wide-azimuth (WAZ) towed-streamer acquisition has improv-ed the quality and reliability of subsalt imaging in the Gulf of Mexico, where WAZ surveys have typically been ac-quired using 3–4 seismic vessels, each shooting in straight parallel lines. However, acquisition of WAZ data using a single vessel and a circular geometry offers several potential ad-vantages, both for operational efficiency and geophysical analysis of subsurface rock properties. Modeling exercises indicate that circular acquisition geo-metry can deliver a better range of azimuths and offsets than parallel WAZ geometry. A feasibility test in the Gulf of Mexico shows that it is possible to sail along circles while main-taining constant streamer separation and achieving very accurate receiver positioning. Single-sensor recording enables effective attenuation of the additional coherent noise introduced by shooting in a curve. Prestack depth-migrated data from the circular geometry test compare favorably with a parallel geometry WAZ data set acquired previously.

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