P-wave and S-wave azimuthal anisotropy at a naturally fractured gas reservoir, Bluebell-Altamont field, UT.

HB Lynn, KM Simon, Charles Richard Bates, W Beckham

Research output: Other contribution


This case history is one of three field projects funded by the US Department of Energy as part of its ongoing research effort aimed to expand current levels of drilling and production efficiency in naturally-fractured tight-gas reservoirs. The original stated goal for the 3-D P-wave seismic survey was to evaluate and map fracture azimuth and relative fracture density throughout a naturally-fractured gas reservoir interval. At Rulison field, this interval is the Cretaceous Mesaverde, approximately 2500 ft (760 m) of lenticular sands, silts, and shales. Three-dimensional full-azimuth P-wave data were acquired for the evaluation of azimuthal anisotropy and the relationship of the anisotropy to commercial pay in the target interval. The methodology is based on the evaluation of two restricted-azimuth orthogonal (source-receiver azimuth) 3-D P-wave volumes aligned with the natural principal axes of the azimuthal anisotropy, as estimated from velocity analysis of multiazimuth prestack gathers. The Dix interval velocity, as well as the interval amplitude variation with offset (AVO) gradient, was calculated for both azimuths for the gas-saturated Mesaverde interval. The two seismic attributes best correlated with commercial gas pay (at a 21-well control set) were (1) values greater than 4% azimuthal variation in the interval velocity ratio (source-receiver azimuth N60E/N30W) of the target interval (the gas-saturated Mesaverde), and (2) the sum of the interval AVO gradients (N60E + N30W). The sum of the interval AVO gradients is an attribute sensitive to the presence of gas, but not diagnostic of an azimuthal variation in the amplitude. The two-azimuth interval velocity anisotropy mapped over the survey area suggests spatial variations in the orientation of the maximum horizontal stress field and the open (to flow) fracture system.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999


  • ROCK


Dive into the research topics of 'P-wave and S-wave azimuthal anisotropy at a naturally fractured gas reservoir, Bluebell-Altamont field, UT.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this