3D velocity-depth model building using surface seismic and well data
The objective of this work was to develop techniques that could be used to rapidly build a three-dimensional velocity-depth model of the subsurface, using the widest possible variety of data available from conventional seismic processing and allowing for moderate structural complexity. The result is a fully implemented inversion methodology that has been applied successfully to a large number of diverse case studies. A model-based inversion technique is presented and shown to be significantly more accurate than the analytical methods of velocity determination that dominate industrial practice. The inversion itself is based around two stages of ray-tracing. The first takes picked interpretations in migrated-time and maps them into depth using a hypothetical interval velocity field; the second checks the validity of this field by simulating fully the kinematics of seismic acquisition and processing as accurately as possible. Inconsistencies between the actual and the modelled data can then be used to update the interval velocity field using a conventional linear scheme. In order to produce a velocity-depth model that ties the wells, the inversion must include anisotropy. Moreover, a strong correlation between anisotropy and lithology is found. Unfortunately, surface seismic and well-tie data are not usually sufficient to uniquely resolve all the anisotropy parameters; however, the degree of non-uniqueness can be measured quantitatively by a resolution matrix which demonstrates that the model parameter trade-offs are highly dependent on the model and the seismic acquisition. The model parameters are further constrained by introducing well seismic traveltimes into the inversion. These introduce a greater range of propagation angles and reduce the non- uniqueness.