Whether refining seismic images to evaluate opportunities in mature areas and exploit the maximum resource, or exploring in frontier areas, determining an accurate velocity model within the turnaround time constraints of reservoir management and exploration timeframes is critical. Speed, robustness, and accuracy are equally important. Seismic imaging has made great strides in recent years with the advent of so-called wave-equation migration imaging methods. Given the correct acoustic propagation velocity for seismic waves in the Earth’s subsurface, these wave-equation methods yield the highest resolution and most accurate images of the earth. However, the process of determining the correct acoustic propagation velocity can be an elusive, time consuming, and costly procedure. We describe an approach both to shorten the process and to make the process less biased and more accurate. The process is shortened by automating the labor-intensive portion of the workflow, and made less biased and more robust and accurate by using much more data than is commonly used in manual picking approaches.


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