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The identification and subsequent suppression of multiple energy are among the most challenging issues in seismic data processing. Recent advances in the arena of multiple elimination technology, firmly rooted to the acoustic wave equation, have resulted in algorithms that are successfully applied to marine datasets. On land, and especially in the desert terrains of the Arabian Peninsula, the application of multiple elimination technology is not always straightforward and requires innovative thinking and approaches. The presence of a complex near-surface in contrast to the simple free-surface of a marine environment and the low signal-to-noise ratio, combined with coupling and acquisition problems, are key characteristics of land seismic which deteriorate the performance of multiple elimination techniques.
This talk presents a series of practical strategies that target the attenuation of surface and internal multiples in the land environment. These strategies can be applied prestack, in shot and common mid-point gathers, and/or in stacked data. They include conventional statistical and frequency-wavenumber schemes, least-squares and high-resolution model-based algorithms, and data-driven, wave-theoretical approaches which require no knowledge of the subsurface. These techniques reflect the evolution of multiple elimination methods over the last 25 years. The physical principles of each methodology are discussed in detail but special emphasis is given to viable solutions that add value to the seismic data. A plethora of land datasets from the world's largest onshore oil fields in Saudi Arabia is used to demonstrate the effectiveness as well as the limitations of each strategy. It is expected that these practical strategies will serve as a foundation for future developments in multiple attenuation technology onshore.