Amplitude variation with offset (AVO) inversion of an anisotropic data set is a challenging task. Nonnegligible differences in the anisotropy parameters between the various lithologies make the seismic data AVO response completely different from the isotropic synthetic seismogram. In this case, it is difficult to invert for VP/VS and density consistent with well-log data. AVO inversion using pseudoisotropic elastic properties is a practical solution to this problem. Verification of this method was performed using data from an offshore Western Australia field. It was found that wavelet extraction and density inversion are improved significantly by replacing the isotropic elastic properties with the pseudoisotropic properties. Inverted density shows reasonable quality and therefore can be included in the reservoir characterization study. Postinversion analyses can be performed effectively on the pseudoisotropic elastic properties because crossplot analysis shows the increased separation of different lithofacies due to contrasts in anisotropy parameters. This result could have significant implications for other fields, as shale constitutes most of the overburden in conventional oil and gas fields and often shows strong elastic anisotropy.

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