The Importance of Velocity Modelling for Seismic Inversion

Enhancing Structural Interpretation of Seismic Data With Velocity Modeling

In the oil and gas industry, companies frequently convert seismic data into what’s called a velocity model to help them identify the locations of potential hydrocarbon reserves. This process is extremely important because it can increase their chances of finding new oil or gas in areas where it’s difficult to see in the seismic data alone. So how does it work? In this article, we’ll explain the importance of velocity modelling and how companies use this approach to increase their chances of success with seismic inversion.

Introducing Velocity Modelling

Velocity modelling refers to a geophysical process in which computer software can simulate how sound waves travel through Earth in order to convert seismic data into images. This is particularly important when dealing with what’s known as complex geological basins, or areas where there are different types of rock layers. For instance, oil companies often look to seismic technology in order to better determine where they should drill—in other words, velocity modelling helps them narrow down specific locations within an area that has many promising candidates. In some cases, then, you might use more than one method of conversion; velocity modelling could then be used alongside another method such as spectral decomposition.

What are the Risks of Not Having Velocity Models?

Any engineer that uses seismic information should realize that there are risks involved. Understanding these risks, and how to deal with them, will make their job much easier. The biggest risk associated with seismic data is inaccurate or missing velocity models. This can be a huge issue when it comes to interpreting well logs; velocity modelling is essential for matching source events to receiver points on cross-sections as well as making sure events from multiple wells line up properly on 3D surveys. Inaccurate velocities lead to poor imaging and mis-ties between wells can have serious consequences, such as truncating reservoirs within certain plays. It’s vital that those who rely on seismic data have a good understanding of how a lack of quality velocity models can impact their work.

How do I Get Started?

The earth is a complex thing, made up of layer upon layer of rock and debris. The study of how seismic waves travel through all these different layers is known as seismic wave velocity. This can have a big impact on your seismic inversion. If you don’t do it right, your survey may not look as good as it could have been. In order to avoid wasting time and money, take some time now to learn about velocity modelling so that you’re not surprised later. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As they say… Prevention is better than cure. Prevention must be done in advance by understanding what causes problems before they occur so that correct measures are taken during activities like seismic data acquisition or seismic imaging. Taking preventive measures will prevent further damage or increase safety levels which in turn leads to lower costs in repairing equipment, personnel injuries etceteras. One should work with their vendors in advance before beginning their project by providing them with information pertaining to existing velocities along with geological interpretations of faults beneath/near surface locations where work will be conducted.