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3D Seismic Survey Design

Acquisition parameters for a 3D reflection survey must be designed to provide optimum imaging
at target depth subject to economic constraints. Shot and receiver lines must be positioned so as
to minimise acquisition footprint. In staged surveys, special attention is required to ensure
smooth merge zones.

Over the past decade Velseis has accumulated extensive experience in the design of high-
resolution 3D surveys. An important design tool is the MESA package from Green Mountain
Geophysics. The features of this industry-standard package include:

 display of bin attributes such as fold, offset and azimuth

 cost analysis

 importation of aerial and satellite images, as well as digitised maps

 flexible shooting configurations

 flex binning


STRUCTURES David Muncy and Warren H. Neff, Phillips Petroleum Company, 560 Plaza OfJice Building,
Bartlesville OK 74004 ; Alfonso Ortega Leite, PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion, Poza Rica, Ver., Mexico;
Juan M. Gallardo Casas, PEMEX Exploracion y Produccion, Villahermosa, Tab., Mexico Abstract. PEMEX,
in 1994 and 1995, successfully used a new concept in 3D seismic survey design to determine acquisition
parameters. The concept used Common Reflection Point (CRP) data derived from raytracing geo-
logically complex earth models incorporating geological, geophysical, and surface condition information
in swampy and rough terrain. Analysis of the results were used to guide parameter selection order to
gain a greater understanding of subsurface reflection illumination, bin size requirements, survey
orientation needs, and survey size limitations. The results were presented in an easy to understand map
form for interpreters, processors, and acquisition personnel. The technique involved two steps. The first
step was to determine overall survey size and preliminary design parameters from subsurface
illumination maps and surface source/receiver maps. The second step refined the introductory design
parameters and is unique in that the raytrace simulation utilized the design geometry that would be
used in the field. From the raytrace results, attribute maps were constructed that served as guides to
make decisions and changes to the survey geometry, size and orientation. 1.


The basic normal starting point when designing a 3-D survey is to assume a flat earth model. Attributes
such as bin size and migration aperture expansion associated with the 3-D survey geometry can easily be
computed assuming constant dip at depth. When working with complex structures these basic assump-
tions can fail to provide the best answers needed in selecting 3-D survey geometry parameters for
numer- ous reasons. In order to better obtain 3-D survey parameters, PEMEX and Phillips performed
raytrace modeling on several structurally complex land pro- spects. The reflection point data was
analyzed and presented in attribute map form. A key series of acquisition attribute maps has been
selected to guide the explorationist in making acquisition parameter decisions. In this poster, several
unique types of acquisition attribute maps will be shown. 2. ILLUMINATION MAP The illumination map
shows the subsurface area that will be covered by reflections and the source/ receiver positions
associated with the reflection points. This map is normally generated in the pre- acquisition design
phase using normal incidence zero offset raytracing. Reflection points that fall within a subsurface target
area are displayed on the sub- surface illumination map. A complimentary map to this is the surface
source/receiver map which displays the source/receiver pairs of the illumination map reflections. The