Vector correlation of amplitude variation with azimuth and curvature in a post-hydraulic-fracture Barnett Shale survey

Interpretation: SEG 4 (1):SB23-SB35 (2016)


Knowledge of induced fractures can help to evaluate the success of reservoir stimulation. Seismic P-waves through fracturing media can exhibit azimuthal variation in traveltime, amplitude, and thin-bed tuning, so amplitude variation with azimuth can be used to evaluate the hydraulic-fracturing-caused anisotropy. The Barnett Shale of the Fort Worth Basin was the first large-scale commercial shale gas play. We have analyzed two adjacent Barnett Shale seismic surveys: one acquired before hydraulic fracturing and the other acquired after hydraulic fracturing by more than 400 wells. Although not a rigorous time-lapse experiment, comparison of AVAz anisotropy of these two surveys provided valuable insight into the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing. We found that in the survey acquired prior to hydraulic fracturing, AVAz anomalies were stronger and highly correlated with major structural lineaments measured by curvature. In contrast, AVAz anomalies in the survey acquired after hydraulic fracturing were weaker and compartmentalized by rather than correlated to the most-positive curvature lineaments. We found in five microseismic experiments within the survey that these ridge lineaments form fracture barriers. These findings suggested that future time-lapse experiments may be valuable in mapping the modified horizontal stress field to guide future drilling and in recognizing zones of bypassed pay.

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