It has been more than three years since The Leading Edge last published a special section on amplitude variation with offset (AVO) inversion, and interest in the subject remains strong. This past spring, SEG hosted a joint symposium in Houston, Texas, on the “Resurgence of seismic inversion,” and the body of talks and case studies demonstrated the method's continued relevance to making impactful drilling decisions. Despite this, and despite AVO inversion's position as a mature and well-established technique, there are an abundance of examples in which inaccurate AVO predictions have led to drastic failures at the drill bit. This highlights the challenges that still exist in the successful execution of such investigations and makes the subject occasionally controversial and certainly fraught with data-quality and best-practice considerations. In this vein, the special section presented here offers examples of the broad sweep of considerations and methods relevant to enabling successful AVO inversion and the interpretation of its products, as well as case studies that demonstrate how application of the technique can be impactful all the way through to appraisal and field development programs.

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