Skip to the content.

KAUST-IAMCS Workshop on Multiscale Modeling, Advanced Discretization Techniques, and Simulation of Wave Propagation

Richard Gibson, Texas A&M University
Seismic Models of Fractured Reservoirs


Both seismic wave propagation and fluid flow are affected by the concentration and orientation of fracturing in reservoir rock. An important aspect of seismic reservoir characterization is therefore to use reflected seismic waves to measure spatial variations in fracture properties within the reservoir. Changes in subsurface stress systems can also affect these fractures, making both the seismic properties and permeabilities stress-dependent. Time-lapse seismic data therefore have strong potential to provide important constraints on changes in fracture systems that can in turn help to better constrain modeling and inversion of fluid flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs to enhance reservoir management. However, there are many challenges in accurately and realistically including the effects of fractures in seismic modeling, especially when developing field-scale models incorporating geological information as well. I will both describe some of these challenges and present recent research results for methods designed to help in seismic characterization of fractured reservoirs. Specifically, I will describe a new model for pressure-dependent seismic velocities of fractured rock that requires a relatively small number of parameters. This approach has strong potential to simplify reservoir characterization tasks compared to existing solutions that require more complicated rock descriptions. These results can then be used in the field scale models to predict seismic reservoir response or, eventually, as a part of an inversion of seismic data for fracture properties.