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Atlantis — 20 years of seismic innovation finally removes the shroud of mystery

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The Atlantis Field has gone through more than two decades of continuous seismic imaging efforts, during which time many innovative technologies were incubated, the most recent one being the successful application of full-waveform inversion (FWI) in salt environments. This technique led to a significant improvement in the subsalt image. However, imaging challenges remain for the Atlantis reservoirs, primarily due to the complex overburden salt geometries and the highly compartmentalized reservoir. Even with an improved velocity model from FWI, the conventional reverse time migration (RTM) images still suffer from illumination issues and contain strong migration swings that hinder the subsalt imaging and subsequent interpretations. Furthermore, early versions of FWI employed an acoustic assumption, leading to visible salt halos at the salt boundaries in the velocity model, which adversely impacted the reservoir imaging. In the last 12 months, elastic time-lag FWI (TLFWI) and FWI-derived reflectivity (FDR) imaging using long-offset ocean-bottom node data have minimized these imaging issues at Atlantis, providing another step change in subsalt understanding. Although the 3D RTM images using the elastic FWI velocity model are similar overall to their acoustic counterparts, the 4D time-lapse RTM images at Atlantis show noticeable improvements. Furthermore, FDR images derived from elastic FWI velocities show obvious benefits over the acoustic ones. With a more accurate modeling engine that allows for better match between synthetic and real data, FDR imaging shows improved illumination, higher signal-to-noise ratio, and better reservoir details over acoustic FDR imaging. This recent advancement in using elastic TLFWI has had immediate positive effects in facilitating the Atlantis Field’s current and future development.

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The Leading Edge


Sam Buist, Li Jiang, Obi Egbue, Daniel Tebo, Luis Lopez, Zhiyuan Wei, Alex Hao2, and Chi Chen




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