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AVO Analysis Using the VSP

SL3.2

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Craig A. Coulombe*, Robert R. Stewart, Univ. of Calgary, Canada;


and Michael J. Jones, Schlumbergerof Canada

SUMMARY

This study utilised a uniquemultioffset VSP geometry


and3-componentacquisitionandprocessingto analyzethe AVO
responseof a gas-bearingcarbonatezone. Firstly, we showthat
the 3-componentprocessingflow recovers the true reflection
coefficientsof an interfaceby testingthe flow on syntheticdata.
We then show the resultsof processingreal dataacquiredusing
the multioffset VSP geometry(Figure 1). Finally, we compare
the amplitudesfrom the processedVSP data with theoretical
amplitudesfrom full multilayer modeling and single interface
Zoeppritz equationmodeling.

A multioffset VSP geometry and 3-component VSP


processingflow have been developedto analyze the seismic
AVO response of a subsurfacezone. The VSP geometry
includesseveralsourcepositionsat increasingoffsets from the
borehole, and a number of 3-component geophonesplaced
immediately above the zone of interest, Several source
positionsare employedto measurethe reflection amplitudesfor
a rangeof P-wave anglesof incidence. Severalgeophonelevels
are necessaryto discriminatebetweenthe different wavefields.
The fundamentalaspectof this geometryis the location
of the geophones.By placingthe geophonesimmediatelyabove
the reflecting interface, many assumptionsabout wavefield
propagationcan be eliminated,and the amplituderatios of the
upgoingto the downgoingwaves can be calculated.
Field VSP data were acquiredand processedto observe
the AVO behaviour of a gas-bearingcarbonatezone. Full
multilayer modelingis requiredto matchthe measuredP-P and
P-SV AVO responseof the zone. In this case,wherethe bed
thicknessis lessthan the tuningthickness,singleinterfaceAVO
analysisis not adequate.

VERTICAL

INTRODUCTION
AVO analysishas been consideredfor some time as a
useful explorationprocedure(Ostrander,1984; Chacko, 1989;
Rutherford and Williams, 1989). The main thrust of AVO
analysisis to estimatethe Poissons ratio of a subsurfacezone
usingconventionalsurfaceseismicdata. The principle interest
in Poissonsratio (or the VJV8ratio) is that it may be diagnostic
of both the presenceof gas and lithology (Tatham and Krug,
1985).
Surface seismicAVO analysisis complicatedby many
factors relating to the path of the propagating wavefield.
Receiver array attenuation, geometrical spreading, surface
consistentamplitudefactors,and absorptionale factorsof major
importance(Mazzotti andMii, 1991). Thesefactorsshouldbe
considered when processingsurface seismic data for AVO
analysis. Furthermore, AVO analysis requires an accurate
estimationof the P-wave angleof incidence,which is dependent
on a suitablevelocity model. Many of thesefactors may be
insignificant for most surface seismic applications,however,
they may overwhelm a subtleeffect suchas AVO.
There are many aspectsof the VSP which alleviatethe
uncertaintiesassociatedwith surface-seismic
AVO analysis.The
amplitudesof the incidentand reflected waves can be recorded
near the reflecting interface, thus the true reflection amplitude
can be calculated independently of the many wavefield
propagation effects associated with surface seismic
measurements.

SEISMIC PROFILING

A multioffset VSP geometry (Figure 1) has been


designed to record data specifically for AVO analysis of a
particular interface. Several offsets arc used to obtain the
reflectioncoefficientsfor a rangeof P-wave anglesof incidence.
It is necessaryto record the wavefield at severallevels in the
borehole to adequately separate upgoing and downgoing
wavefields as well as P and S wavefields. Recording the
wavefield directly above the reflector is fundamentalto this
geometry. As shown in Figure 1, the amplitude of the
downgoingP wavefield recordedat the borehole(Ai), and the
amplitudeof the downgoingP wavefield which generatedthe
reflected wavefield (A,) are assumedto be equal. This is only
true when the receiversare nearthe reflectinginterface. So, the
reflection coefficient is the ratio of the downgoingand upgoing
wavefields recordedat the borehole. By using this technique,
uncertaintiesaboutsourcedirectivity,geometricalspreading,and
absorptionare suppressed.
Another aspect of the VSP is that 3-component
acquisition and processingcan be used to obtain the P-SV
reflection coefficients. This suggeststhat P-SV reflection
coefficients can be used jointly with the P-P reflection
coefficients to estimate of the subsurfacerock properties.
Therefore, this VSP geometry is a promising method of
observing seismicAVO. This is becauseit is independentof
most wavefield propagationeffects associatedwith measuring
seismic reflections at large distances from the reflecting
interface.

EXPERIMENT

DESIGN AND ACQUISITION

A field VSP surveyhasbeenrecordedfor AVO analysis


usingthe geometryshownin Figure 1. The geometry
consisted
of 6 offsetpostionsbetween500 m and 1750 m with an offset
intervalof 250 m. A zero- offset VSP, and an offset VSP, were
also recorded. All the VSP s whererecorded
usinga singlelevel 3-componentdownhole geophone. The sourceconsisted
of 2 Hemi- vibratorswith an 8 to 90 Hz 16 s linearsweep.

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AVO using the VSP

The traveltimesof the P-wave directarrival from the zero-offset


VSP wereusedto obtainthe VSP P-wave interval velocities,
andthetraveltimesof a downgoingS wave from the offset VSP
were USA to obtain the VSP S-wave interval velocities. The
multioffset VSP was recorded to observe the seismic AVO
response
of a porousgas-filled carbonatezone.

VSP PROCESSING
The data were procesed using a processing flow
developed to obtain the true reflection amplitudes from 3componentVSP data. The intent is to use the P-P and P-SV
amplitudesfor AVO analysis.
The processingflow was tested using a syntheticdata
set. The syntheticdata were generatedfrom a simple velocity
model. The model is a 150 m gas-saturatedsandstoneencased
in shale,the top of the sandis at a depthof 850 m and the base
of the sand is at a depth of lOGOm. Four sourcepositions
were modeled at offsets of 50 m, 200 m, 400 m, and 600 m,
and 11 receiverpositionswere modeledimmediatelyabovethe
gas-sandbetween depthsof 745 m and 845 m with a receiver
spacingof 10 m. The data were generatedby ray tracing and
convolution with a 35 Hz Ricker wavelet. The result of
processingthesedata is the P- and S- wave gathers(Figure 2).
The gathers have been normalized by the amplitudesof the
respectivedowngoing P wavefleld so they show the seismic
AVO responsefor the top of the gas-sandinterface and are
independentof most wavefield propagationaffects.
To test the processingflow, the amplitudesfrom the top
of the gas-sandinterface were picked from the gathers and
comparedwith the theoreticalZoeppritz equationsolutionfor
the shale/gas-sandinterface (Figure 3).
There is good
agreement between the processeddata amplitudes and the
theoreticalamplitudessuggestingthat the processingflow has
extracted the true reflection coefficients from the data. The
resultsof the syntheticdata study imply that multioffset VSP
data acquiredin this mannercan be processedfor true reflection
coefficients.
Processingthe field multioffsetVSP in a similarmanner
to the synthetic data resulted in the P- and S-wave gathers
shownin Figure 4. An importantpart of the processingflow is
separatingthe data into the up and downgoingP and S waves.
This was achieved using a parametric inversion technique
(Leaney, 1990; Esmersoy,1990).
To analyzethesedata, a forward modelingapproachhas
been implemented. A full-waveform soniclog and bulk density
log were usedas inputsfor the model. The logs were blocked
simultaneouslywith the constraintthat the outputblockedlogs
(Figure 5) containthe minimum numberof interfacesnecessary
to faithfully reproducethe spectrum
of the inputlogswithin a
given bandwidth (Carron, 1987). This techniquewas chosen
becauseit is automatic,and the resultscould not be biasedby
the interpretersexpectations. The resultingreflectivityseries
were convolvedwith a downgoingwavelet from the multioffset
VSP to maintain a consistentseismicwavelet betweenthe real
and modeled data. The results of forward modeling are the
syntheticP- and S-wave gathers(Figure 6).
A comparisonof teal and forward modeledamplitudes

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for the reflectionsfrom the top and base of the porouszone is


shown in Figure 7. Also plotted are the theoreticalZoepprtitz
equation curves for the respective interfaces. Figure 8 is a
similar comparisonfor the P-S reflection amplitudes. There is
a goodcorrelationbetweenthe forward-modeledamplitudesand
the real-data amplitudes. So, again the processingflow has
recoveredthe true reflection amplitudesfrom the multioffset
VSP data. However, there are deviationsof the real data from
the modeleddata,which may be attributedto noise. Also, there
is a poor correlationof the Zoeppritz equationcurveswith the
real- and modeled-dataamplitudes. This is due to the limited
bandwidethof the VSP data, and the thin bed nature of the
reflections. As a consequence,single interface AVO analysis
does not adequatelydescribe the AVO behavior of the gasbearingzone, and a forward modeling approachis prefered.

CONCLUSIONS
The multioffset VSP geometry is an effective AVO
technique. Processing multioffset VSP data using a 3component processing flow can recover the true reflection
coefficientsof seismicreflectionsby calculatingthe amplitude
ratio of the incident to reflected waves. Full multilayer
modeling was requiredto match the AVO responceof the gasbearing carbonatezone. In this case, single interface AVO
analysiswas not adequate.

REFERENCES
Carron, D.,
1987, Optimal layer definition
by
simultaneousVSP inversionand log squaring:Presentedat
57 Ann. Int. Mtg. Sot. Expl. Geophys.
Chacko,
S.,
1989,
Porosity
identification
usingamplitudevariationswith offset:examplesfrom South
Samatra: Geophysics,54, 942-951.
Esmersoy, C.,
1990, Inversion of P and SV
wavesfrom multicomponentoffset vertical seismicprofiles:
Geophysics,55, 39-50.
Parametric
wavefield
Leany,
S.W.,
1990,
decompositionand applications:Presentedat 60th Ann. Int.
Mtg. Sot. Expl. Geophys.
and Mirri,
1991, An experience
in
Mazzotti
seismicamplitudeprocessing:First Break, 9, 65-73.
Ostrander,
W.J.,
1984, Plane wave reflection
coefficientsfor gassandsat non normalanglesof incidence:
Geohpysics,49, 1637-1648.
Rutherford,
S.R.,
and Williams,
R.H.,
1989,
Amplitude-versus-offset variations in gas sands:
Geophysics,54, 680-688.
1985, vptvs
Tatham, R.H.,
and Krug, E.H.,
Interpretation: Developmentsin GeophysicalMethods - 6.,
Ed. A.A. Fitch, Elsevier Applied SciencePublications.

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AVO using the VSP

Figure3: Pickedamplituded
fromprocessed
P- and
S-wavesynthetic
gathers
andtheoretical
Zoeppritz
equationcurves.
Figure1: MultioffsetVSP geometry.Notethegeophones
areimediatelyabovetheinterface.

P-WaveGather
P-Wave
Gather

S-WaveGather

S-Wave
Gather
l.gOO

1.900

2.ooo

2.000

2.100

2.100

2.200

2.200

0.600

0.709 g1151#
3
@
E 0.800

0.700

3
0.800 o
E

F
0.900

1.O(K)

1.000
2.300

Figure2: Processed
synthetic
P- andS-wavegathers.
Figure4: Processed
P- andS-wavegathers.

2.300

AVO using the VSP

Density

Velocity
b-0)

Wm3)
loraN
iu binbo

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10

yyf

_,, + ~~_,__
_+-_-f-T+.-k
20

10

PyroyY

30

40

(
50

P-wave Angle of Incidence


Figure7: P-P amplitudesfrom real and modeledP-wave
gathers,and theoreticalZoepprtizequationcurves.

Figure 5: Blockedlogs throughgas-bearingcarbonateunit.

P-Wave Gather

S-Wave Gather

1.900

Base of Porosity

-.12

Cl
0

I
10

20

30

+--t-

40

50

P-wave Angle of Incidence


2.ooo
Figure 8: P-S amplitudesfrom real andmodeledS-wave
gathers,and theoreticalZoeppritzequationcurves.

2.100

2.300

2.300
Figure 6: SyntheticP- and S-wave gathers.

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