ABSTRACT

In 2017, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology was deployed in a horizontal well to conduct a vertical seismic profiling survey before and after each of 78 hydraulic fracturing stages. From two vibroseis source locations at the surface, time shifts of P- and S-waves were observed but decayed over days. Some stages also showed waves scattered off the stimulated rock volume. We have used 2D finite difference elastic wavefield modeling to understand these observations and connect them to underlying properties of the stimulated rock. We have developed an effective medium model of vertical fractures that close exponentially with time as fluid leaks off into the formation can match the distribution of P- and S-wave time shifts along the well. This has enabled estimates of the height, normal and tangential fracture compliance values, and decay time of the stimulated rock volume. Additionally, the kinematics of scattered waves observed in the data have been found to be consistent with PS conversion across the stimulated rock volume from an individual stage. With higher quality DAS data, stage-by-stage inversion for height, fracture compliance, and decay time attributes may be possible for characterizing variations in the effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing.

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