Gulf of Mexico WAZ | SLB

Gulf of Mexico WAZ

Nearly continuous coverage across the most active portions of three major deepwater exploration plays

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Our multiclient wide-azimuth surveys provide nearly continuous coverage across the most active portions of three major Gulf of Mexico deepwater exploration plays:

  • subsalt Lower to Middle Miocene
  • Lower Tertiary (Wilcox)
  • emerging subsalt Pliocene.

Primary exploration targets in most of these areas are at depths from 20,000 to 35,000 ft beneath a complex and highly variable allochthonous salt canopy. These areas are characterized by various structural styles and trap types, from four-way closures associated with turtle structures or salt-cored folds to three-way traps against salt keels, feeders, or welds. 

Map showing wide-azimuth Gulf of Mexico surveys.
Wide-azimuth acquisition in the Gulf of Mexico.

Survey challenges, processing and interpretation

  • Complex salt bodies
  • Poor subsalt imaging
  • Multiples
  • Anisotropic velocity model building

Continuous survey coverage in deep water

Seismic data shows the merge of raw RTM data from E-Octopus VIII, IX, and X surveys.
Merge of raw SB3 RTM data from E-Octopus VIII, IX, and X surveys.

Acquisition technology and technique

Wide-azimuth acquisition is one of the primary techniques being used in Gulf of Mexico surveys. It addresses the imaging issues common to this area by recording a wider range of azimuths and offsets than conventional narrow-azimuth acquisition techniques. This acquisition technique employs

  • four vessels equipped with point-receiver marine seismic system: two source and two recording boats
  • ten 8-km steerable streamers per recording boat.
  • Latest acquired data—wide-azimuth streamer acquisition survey; acquisition with point-receiver marine seismic system

Processing highlights

Our data processing techniques for subsalt imaging include use of reverse time migration (RTM) angle gathers for subsalt update tomography, 3D GSMP general surface multiple prediction methodology for improved attenuation of multiples, and multiazimuth tomography for construction of anisotropic velocity models.