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Kaleidoscope: A Technology Collaboration with Repsol for Improving Subsurface Imaging and Interpretation 

Kaleidoscope is a technology collaboration project between Emerson and Repsol designed to bring advanced subsurface seismic imaging technologies to the oil and gas industry.  As part of the project, Emerson will implement and deploy advanced subsurface imaging solutions based on Repsol core technologies. Combining the latest in high-end visualization, high-performance computing and cloud delivery, the solutions will be available to the Repsol geoscience community and to all oil and gas companies that choose to license the technologies, to support their digital transformation processes.


Technology collaborations are more important than ever in this time of lean oil and gas prices and the emergence of digital transformation, which impacts all industry verticals. The objectives of this collaboration include the following:

  • Time to result. Accelerate the time to first oil by collapsing the time from seismic imaging to prospect identification. By embedding the Repsol Kaleidoscope technologies in Emerson’s E&P seismic imaging, interpretation, and modeling platform, the full power of Repsol’s technology with Emerson’s high-end visualization and interpretation establishes the connections needed to compress project timelines.
  • Democratization of technology. Democratization (through software licensing) allows geoscientists from Repsol and other oil and gas operators to experience and exploit the value of advanced subsurface imaging technology.
  • Better asset team cooperation. Kaleidoscope is a valuable asset for improving ties between the seismic imaging, modeling, and seismic interpretation communities. Advanced tools that were previously used by seismic imaging experts are now available to interpreters for their daily work, enhancing collaboration across domains. 
  • Cloud enablement. Based on Emerson’s experience in cloud deployment of workstation and high-performance computing (HPC) applications, the full advantage of cloud services and cloud computational elasticity can be leveraged for the complete suite of Kaleidoscope applications.
  • Deep water and onshore prospecting and evaluation. Originally developed for deep water objectives, many of the applications have been adapted to onshore seismic acquisitions, increasing the value for oil and gas operators with significant onshore assets.

The technologies described below represent the first release of a subset of Kaleidoscope applications. Other significant applications (e.g. Full Waveform Inversion, Reverse Time Migration) will follow in the next 12 months. All of the applications developed as part of this project will be available as add-ons to Emerson's E&P software Processing & Imaging and Interpretation products.

Full-azimuth Illumination: The Emerson illumination package has been enriched with additional functionalities that are key to understanding how seismic acquisition affects illumination. This technology, which has always been available to seismic imaging specialists and seismic interpreters, is now also a useful tool for seismic processing and acquisition specialists. New features include: Ray filtering using field geometry, ray filtering using polygons, and ray filtering using synthetic geometry.

Full-azimuth illumination before (top) and after (bottom) raw filtering. Tempest velocity model courtesy of Devon Energy.
Velocity Accelerators
  • Seismic Guided Velocity Smoothing: Smoothing and filtering a velocity grid is a common procedure used in various steps of the seismic processing/ imaging/reservoir characterization workflow. It is also often applied to other types of attributes, e.g. to impedance for building background models as part of the amplitude inversion workflow, etc.  Conventional smoothing or filtering of the velocity grid is structure independent and normally highly biased laterally, so the resulting velocity models may be inconsistent with the geology.  Seismic guided velocity smoothing is guided by the seismic structure, providing a geologically consistent result. 
Original velocity attribute image (left); improved image (right) using the structural smoothing tool
  • De-salting: Enables editing an existing velocity model to exclude a salt body and replace it with background sediment velocity. The replacement of salt bodies or other anomalous features is done by extrapolating sediment velocities from the surrounding area. This provides a new velocity model that can serve as a background model for migrations.
De-salting before (top) and after (bottom). Images courtesy of Repsol.

Prestack Reverse Time Migration (RTM)
Prestack Reverse Time Migration is a preferred solution for imaging seismic data in areas of complex wave phenomena. It is able to handle the most severe combinations of structural dip with high velocity contrast, conditions common in salt basins and other geologic basins with complex structures and velocity distributions. Prestack RTM includes:

•    3D prestack imaging
•    3D poststack demigration/migration
•    Streamer, OBC and onshore solutions
•    Isotropic and anisotropic imaging
•    Common Image Gather output
•    Variable density for both isotropic and TTI models in RTM
•    Surface seismic and subsurface (VSP) seismic imaging
•    Multi-core CPU or GPU processing (optimized for GPU)

Epsilon model used as input to RTM

Poststack Seismic Demigration Migration (RTM-based)
Post Stack Demigration of an existing seismic image, and Remigration with alternative velocity models enable seismic interpreters to economically evaluate different scenarios while incorporating their experience, knowledge of the field, and consistency with available data.

A new application has been developed to efficiently carry out this workflow. The process incorporates a modeling (demigration) step of the zero offset seismic data using the current depth migrated image and its corresponding velocity model, followed by zero offset migration (post-stack migration) using an updated velocity model. The application utilizes the forward modeling and back propagation algorithm of the accurate Reverse Time Migration (RTM) method.

The migration can be run several times, each with a different perturbed velocity.  The output is multiple depth images.  One way to obtain the different velocities is through Time Preserving Tomography (TPT), which enables the construction of kinematically equivalent subsurface models, given a background model and a set of model parameter perturbations. 
The application is designed to run on workstations or clusters, on-prem or on the cloud, and supports both CPU and GPU hardware configurations. It can be run with isotropic and anisotropic (VTI and TTI) velocity models with or without density.

Poststack RTM demigration-migration workflow


Structural Guided Seismic Enhancement: Enhances seismic images along the structure using the structural tensor to enhance correlated events and clean up noise, while preserving important discontinuities such as faults and channels. The result is an  enhanced seismic image optimized for interpretation
Original seismic image (left); improved image (right) using the structural-guided enhancement tool.

Partial Stacking: The “partial stacking” application is designed to improve the seismic image when stacking Vector Offset Gathers (VOG). VOG is a common prestack seismic data organization method that preserves offset (or reflection angle) and azimuthal information when performing modern depth migrations. VOG data organization is suitable for selective and preferential stacking of the dominant directional energy, contributing to a more focused subsurface image. Selective stacking is useful for excluding poorly imaged directions, noise and artifacts of migration, or poor images resulting from incomplete acquisition geometries. Vector offset/angle gathers, which are the input to this application, are output by many migration methods, including Kirchhoff, Reverse Time Migration, and Local Angle Domain migrations.

Our interactive partial stacking operation is designed to help users QC their data and optimize parameter selection for stacking in order to improve the image. It works on volumes of VOG data and enables visualization of multiple volumes with on-the-fly re-organization capabilities, moving between volume view and gather view. It supports both offset/azimuth volumes and angle /azimuth volumes. The application is useful for both seismic imaging specialists and for seismic interpreters.

An intuitive user interface enables users to analyze multiple offset/ azimuth volumes and angle/azimuth volumes, including on-the-fly partial stacking and interactive gather creation from input volumes.