P-wave and S-wave azimuthal anisotropy at a naturally fractured gas reservoir, Bluebell-Altamont Field, Utah

H B Lynn, W E Beckham, K M Simon, C R Bates, M Layman, M Jones

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Reflection P- and S-wave data were used in an investigation to determine the relative merits and strengths of these two data sets to characterize a naturally fractured gas reservoir in the Tertiary Upper Green River formation. The objective is to evaluate the viability of P-wave seismic to detect the presence of gas-filled Fractures, estimate fracture density and orientation, and compare the results with estimates obtained from the S-wave data. The P-wave response to vertical fractures must be evaluated at different source-receiver azimuths (travelpaths) relative to fracture strike. Two perpendicular lines of multicomponent reflection data were acquired approximately parallel and normal to the dominant strike of Upper Green River fractures as obtained from outcrop, core analysis, and borehole image logs. The P-wave amplitude response is extracted from prestack amplitude variation with offset (AVO) analysis, which is compared to isotropic-model AVO responses of gas sand versus brine sand in the Upper Green River. A nine-component vertical seismic profile (VSP) was also obtained for calibration of S-wave reflections with P-wave reflections, and support of reflection S-wave results.

The direction of the fast (S1) shear-wave component from the reflection data and the VSP coincides with the northwest orientation of Upper Green River fractures, and the direction of maximum horizontal in-situ stress as determined from borehole ellipticity logs. Significant differences were observed in the P-wave AVO gradient measured parallel and perpendicular to the orientation of Upper Green River fractures. Positive AVO gradients were associated with gas-producing fractured intervals for propagation normal to fractures. AVO gradients measured normal to fractures at known water-wet zones were near zero or negative. A proportional relationship was observed between the azimuthal variation of the P-wave AVO gradient as measured at the tops of fractured intervals, and the fractional difference between the vertical traveltimes of split S-waves (the ''S-wave anisotropy") of the intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1328
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999




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