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Demystifying Pre-Stack Depth Imaging from the Practitioner’s Point of View


Bevc, Dimitri1, Walt Ritchie2 (1) 3DGeo Development Inc, Santa Clara, CA (2) 3DGeo Development Inc, Houston, TX


The recent advent of economically practical wave equation depth imaging solutions has ushered in a great deal of potential confusion for the explorationist seeking the most effec­tive and affordable PSDM solution from the many options now offered by the seismic pro­cessing community. We advocate focus on two primary criteria to select the most effective 3-D PSDM approach to meet the explorationist’s subsurface imaging challenge:

1) Implementation fidelity of the algorithm/method of choice. The old adage that “the devil is in the details” is especially true when any new technology is transitioned from the­ory to practice.

2) Integration level of the velocity modeling system. Matching the right imaging method and the right velocity model building tools to the complexity of the subsurface imaging prob­lem determines the degree of PSDM project success. Tight integration of the velocity model building system with the imaging algorithm of choice is essential; If the velocity model is not correct, or is not consistent with the imaging method, it does not matter how advance the imaging method is, the image will not be optimal!

To clarify the real issues, we overview the current state of the art in depth imaging and highlight areas for emphasis during the PSDM selection process. Using case histories from various basins, we provide guidelines for the explorationist to ensure the right issues are focused on, and the right questions asked so that the right PSDM selection decision for the prospect under review is made.