Rock brittleness is one of the important properties for fracability evaluation, and it can be represented by different physical properties. The mineralogy-based brittleness index (BIM) builds a simple relationship between mineralogy and brittleness, but it may be ambiguous for rocks with a complex microstructure; whereas the elastic moduli-based brittleness index (BIE) is applicable in the field, but BIE interpretation needs to be constrained by lithofacies information. We have developed a new workflow for quantitative seismic interpretation of rock brittleness: Lithofacies are defined by a criterion combining BIM and BIE for comprehensive brittleness evaluation; statistical rock-physics methods are applied for quantitative interpretation by using inverted elastic parameters; acoustic impedance and elastic impedance are selected as the optimized pair of attributes for lithofacies classification. To improve the continuity and accuracy of the interpreted results, a Markov random field is applied in the Bayesian rule as the spatial constraint. A 2D synthetic test demonstrates the feasibility of the Bayesian classification with a Markov random field. This new interpretation framework is also applied to a shale reservoir formation from China. Comparison analysis indicates that brittle shale sections can be efficiently discriminated from ductile shale sections and tight sand sections by using the inverted elastic parameters.

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