High fidelity seismic amplitude reconstruction through pre-stack migration is crucial for accurate elastic inversion. Despite a relatively flat geology of the Abu Dhabi region, accurate imaging is required for a stable elastic inversion. This can be challenging because the main reservoir Arab lies underneath the strongly anisotropic overburden of the Nahr Umr formation. In this case study, we show how we effectively addressed this challenge through PSDM.

With PSDM imaging, we have overcome the challenges of complex ray paths passing through the strongly anisotropic Nahr Umr layer and the rapid lateral velocity variation in the Mishrif formation. Evidently, the success of PSDM relies strongly on the accuracy of the depth velocity model used. To achieve this we adopt different forms of tomographic inversion, for example, using 3D non-linear slope tomographic inversion, where velocity and anisotropy (Epsilon) models are jointly inverted. Additionally, short wavelength velocity variations caused by the Mishrif interval are resolved through structurally-constrained tomography (SCT).

The superiority of PSDM imaging over PSTM in reconstructing AVA compliant seismic amplitudes is demonstrated on an ocean bottom survey from the transition zone offshore Abu Dhabi. Fast-track AVA elastic inversion is used to assess the benefit of PSDM imaging over PSTM. With a more stable Vp/Vs ratio and smaller inversion residual, PSDM imaging demonstrates a greater accuracy in reconstructing the pre-stack seismic amplitude and thus are more appropriate for estimating elastic reservoir properties.

The value of PSDM imaging for better understanding of reservoir characteristic has been well demonstrated in this case study from the Abu Dhabi transition zone, thus optimizing the value of the acquired seismic data for asset development.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.