Seeing through the CO2plume: Joint inversion-segmentation of the Sleipner 4D seismic data set

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Time-lapse (4D) seismic inversion is the leading method to quantitatively monitor fluid-flow dynamics in the subsurface, with applications ranging from enhanced oil recovery to subsurface CO2 storage. The process of inverting 4D seismic data for reservoir properties is a notoriously ill-posed inverse problem due to the band-limited and noisy nature of seismic data and inaccuracies in the repeatability of 4D acquisition surveys. Consequently, ad-hoc regularization strategies are essential for the 4D seismic inverse problem to obtain geologically meaningful subsurface models and associated 4D changes. Motivated by recent advances in the field of convex optimization, we propose a joint inversion-segmentation algorithm for 4D seismic inversion that integrates total variation and segmentation priors as a way to counteract missing frequencies and present noise in 4D seismic data. The proposed inversion framework is designed for poststack seismic data and applied to a pair of seismic volumes from the open Sleipner 4D seismic data set. Our method has three main advantages over state-of-the-art least-squares inversion methods. First, it produces high-resolution baseline and monitor acoustic models. Second, it mitigates nonrepeatable noise and better highlights real 4D changes by leveraging similarities between multiple data. Finally, it provides a volumetric classification of the acoustic impedance 4D difference model (4D changes) based on user-defined classes (i.e., percentages of speedup or slowdown in the subsurface). Such advantages may enable more robust stratigraphic/structural and quantitative 4D seismic interpretation and provide more accurate inputs for dynamic reservoir simulations. Alongside presenting our novel inversion method, we introduce a streamlined data preprocessing sequence for the 4D Sleipner poststack seismic data set that includes time-shift estimation and well-to-seismic tie. Finally, we provide insights into the open-source framework for large-scale optimization that we used to implement the proposed algorithm in an efficient and scalable manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-464
Number of pages8
JournalLeading Edge
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by The Society of Exploration Geophysicists.


  • 4D
  • inversion
  • sequestration
  • time lapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geology


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