Davis W. Ratcliff, David J. Weber
Exploring for hydrocarbons below salt has been, and will continue to be, a high risk/high potential business endeavor. Recent subsalt discoveries have generated a tremendous interest in subsalt exploration, both in the Gulf of Mexico as well as in other basins around the world. The geophysical technology which has played the most significant role in the success of subsalt exploration is, by far, Depth Imaging. Depth imaging technology (poststack and prestack) has allowed explorationists to identify and map structural and stratigraphic features below salt that trap significant hydrocarbon accumulations.
In this paper, we discuss 3-D subsalt imaging strategies and technology applications that can assist the subsalt explorationist in prospect evaluation, risk assessment, well placement and field development using the Mahogany and Teak Salt Sills as calibration points. In addition to utilizing a specific "subsalt" acquisition geometry, the collective processing strategy will incorporate 2-D time imaging, 2-D poststack depth migration, 2-D prestack depth migration, wide-line profiling, 3-D time imaging, 3-D poststack depth migration and "target oriented" 3-D prestack depth migration.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91020©1995 AAPG Annual Convention, Houston, Texas, May 5-8, 1995