Abstract

The transversely isotropic poroelastic wave equation can be formulated to include the Biot and the squirt-flow mechanisms to yield a new analytical solution in terms of the elements of the squirt-flow tensor. The new model gives estimates of the vertical and the horizontal permeabilities, as well as other measurable rock and fluid properties. In particular, the model estimates phase velocity and attenuation of waves traveling at different angles of incidence with respect to the principal axis of anisotropy. The attenuation and dispersion of the fast quasi P-wave and the quasi SV-wave are related to the vertical and the horizontal permeabilities. Modeling suggests that the attenuation of both the quasi P-wave and quasi SV-wave depend on the direction of permeability. For frequencies from 500 to 4500 Hz, the quasi P-wave attenuation will be of maximum permeability. To test the theory, interwell seismic waveforms, well logs, and hydraulic conductivity measurements (recorded in the fluvial Gypsy sandstone reservoir, Oklahoma) provide the material and fluid property parameters. For example, the analysis of petrophysical data suggests that the vertical permeability (1 md) is affected by the presence of mudstone and siltstone bodies, which are barriers to vertical fluid movement, and the horizontal permeability (1640 md) is controlled by cross-bedded and planar-laminated sandstones. The theoretical dispersion curves based on measurable rock and fluid properties, and the phase velocity curve obtained from seismic signatures, give the ingredients to evaluate the model. Theoretical predictions show the influence of the permeability anisotropy on the dispersion of seismic waves. These dispersion values derived from interwell seismic signatures are consistent with the theoretical model and with the direction of propagation of the seismic waves that travel parallel to the maximum permeability. This analysis with the new analytical solution is the first step toward a quantitative evaluation of the preferential directions of fluid flow in reservoir formation containing hydrocarbons. The results of the present work may lead to the development of algorithms to extract the permeability anisotropy from attenuation and dispersion data (derived from sonic logs and crosswell seismics) to map the fluid flow distribution in a reservoir.

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