--> ABSTRACT: Subsalt AVO, by Richard O. Lindsay and Davis W. Ratcliff; #91019 (1996)

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Subsalt AVO

Richard O. Lindsay and Davis W. Ratcliff

Seismic amplitudes have long been known to be related to hydrocarbon accumulations. An advanced technique is needed to better evaluate the risk associated with the subsalt prospects. One solution is to plan, acquire and process higher quality 3-D prestack depth migrated seismic data (PreSDM). This requires a firm financial commitment to producing a quality product. Yet, the results are not just desirable but required to adequately evaluate subsalt prospects.

An added benefit of high quality 3-D PreSDM seismic data is the opportunities afforded by these data. Specifically, 3-D amplitude change versus offset (AVO) is now possible. AVO technologies were applied extensively in the Gulf of Mexico to evaluate, primarily, bright spots. These analyses were generally performed on 2-D seismic data where the technique met with considerable success. However, as the prospect inventories dwindled, the success rates declined. Remembering that we drill our best leads first, it is only to be expected that the risk associated with these prospects would be higher -- even with advanced technologies. It is probably for this reason that the application of AVO technology went through a hiatus.

The rethinking of old problems combined with a reevaluation of the assumptions we have come to accept as barriers, provide avenues for improvement of our exploration process. The investigation of these areas combined with applied research will undoubtedly lead us to better exploration practices and better economic risk assessment of the subsalt section.

AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California