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The future of imaging and inversion in a complex Earth

Robertsson, J
Wednesday 14 December 2011, 13:30-14:15


It is now over 25 years since the introduction of 3D seismic data acquisition and processing. These techniques have proven to be very useful. In fact, in a recent industry wide survey, 3D seismic was regarded as the single most valuable technology for the hydrocarbon industry over the last two decades. The objectives of seismic surveys are to provide a structural image as well as to estimate Earth properties of the sub-surface. Due to the high demand for hydrocarbons, industry have increasingly been exploring substantially more complex or difficult areas, such as deep water or sub-salt reservoirs. As a result, a step-change in technology for inversion and imaging has occurred, made possible by increasingly powerful computational platforms. New imaging methods such as full waveform inversion (Tarantola, Pratt) and Reverse Time Migration (RTM) utilize the full richness of recorded data (as opposed to conventional imaging methods which use simple reflections only). Consequently, industrial scientists have become increasingly aware of the limitations of what has been called 3D seismic data. This has been limited in three respects: i) bandwidth; ii) the lateral extent of source and receiver arrays; iii) aliasing in terms of source and receiver spacing.

In my presentation I will show how recent advances overcomes some of these limitations.


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