Next-generation full-wavefield imaging and inversion

A game-changing technology


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Developer: Imperial College London, Mike Warner
Sponsors: BG Group, BP, ConocoPhillips, Dong Energy, Hess, Maersk, Nexen, Rio Tinto, Tullow Oil Plc
Total Value: £1134k

With the advent of efficient software for 3D full-wavefield tomography, a development in which Imperial College has been a leading player, seismic waveform inversion is rapidly moving from a technique of academic and specialist interest into a main-stream and potentially game-changing technology. It promises to impact seismic resolution, fidelity and industrial practice across E&P to an extent similar to that produced by the adoption of 3D PSDM.

The project builds upon this success to develop the next generation of integrated wavefield-tomographic tools for imaging and joint inversion. There are three central aims:

  • to develop the technique so that it can be readily applied to seismic datasets acquired over a wide range of targets, with a wide range of acquisition geometries
  • to image beneath heterogeneous over¬burden, in both conventional 3D and time-lapse applications;
  • to recover a high-resolution quantitative reservoir model, and its associated uncertainties, by incorporating different geophysical and petrophysical techniques into a joint inversion scheme that properly considers rock physics, anisotropy and attenuation; 
  • to integrate the methodology within conventional seismic workflows
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