The normal-to-shear fracture compliance ratio is commonly used as a fluid indicator. In the seismic frequency range, the fluid indicator lies between the values for isolated fluid-filled fractures and dry fractures, and it is not easy to discriminate the fluid content. Assuming that the fracture surfaces are smooth, we use 1ΔN/ΔNdry, with ΔN and ΔNdry representing the normal fracture weakness of the saturated and dry rock, to indicate fluid types, and to define a fluid influencing factor. The fluid influencing factor is sensitive to the fluid properties, the aspect ratio of the fractures, and the frequency. Conventionally, the amplitude versus offset and azimuth (AVOA) inversion is formulated in terms of the contrasts of the fracture weaknesses across the interface, assuming that the fractures are vertical with the same symmetry axis. We consider fractures with arbitrary azimuths, and develop a method to estimate fracture parameters from wide-azimuth seismic data. The proposed AVOA inversion algorithm is tested on real 3D prestack seismic data from the Tarim Basin, China, and the inverted fracture density show good agreement with well log data, except that there are some discrepancies for one of the fractured reservoir sections. The discrepancies can be ascribed to neglect of the dip angle for the tilted fractures and the conjugate fracture sets, and to the validity of the linear-slip model. The fractured reservoirs are expected to be liquid saturated, under the assumption of smooth fractures. Overall, the inverted fracture density and fluid influencing factor can be potentially used for better well planning in fractured reservoirs and quantitatively estimating the fluid effects.

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