Nearly all North Sea oil and gas discoveries have been structurally defined using seismic data (e.g. Abbotts, 1991). Only a small number of structural highs of any material size remain undrilled, and it is now recognised that stratigraphic sealing has the potential to extend the hydrocarbon life of the North Sea. The aim of this paper is to show how accurate signature deconvolution of seismic data may help in the deliberate search for subtle stratigraphic traps. We use an example from the Inner Moray Firth basin to illustrate this, and to show that statistical deconvolution can destroy the very stratigraphic information it is supposed to reveal. We claim that it is essential to measure and record the source wavefield during seismic data acquisition, if the full potential of stratigraphic traps is to be realised.


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