The effective monitoring of hydraulic fracturing in unconventional oil and gas production requires tools to quantify elastic property variations even in the absence of microseismic activity. To track the subtle time-lapse variations in reservoir properties during such activities, monitoring techniques with high repeatability and high resolution, spatially and temporally, are required. Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) is a rapidly maturing fiber-optic technology for low-cost, permanent, high density, in-well monitoring. Surface orbital vibrators (SOVs) are inexpensive fixed rotary seismic sources that offer the opportunity to frequently interrogate the subsurface with energies comparable to vibroseis sources. We have evaluated a field vertical seismic profile test, conducted in the Eagle Ford play, pairing an SOV source recorded by DAS behind casing in a deviated well to better evaluate the potential of the technology set for unconventional reservoir monitoring. We determine the data processing workflow for reservoir monitoring using the SOV-DAS system. We analyze the data characteristics of the SOV-DAS system, including the signal-to-noise ratio characteristics and source repeatability. High-quality P- and S-wave reflections, as well as mode conversions, are visible in the vertical section. In addition, clear P-P reflections are also observable along the horizontal well sections. Time shifts with a mean value of 10 μs between different data sets demonstrate the high repeatability for the semipermanent SOV source, which is crucial for time-lapse analysis. We also apply reflection imaging on P and S to reveal reflection depths. In a first-of-its-kind deployment, we implemented a rotating SOV with a slewing bearing and discuss the possibility to optimize S-wave construction along the horizontal well with specific SOV orientation directions. Our preliminary results indicate that the combination of repeatable surface sources such as SOVs with DAS has significant potential for providing a low-cost approach for high-resolution seismic monitoring of unconventional reservoirs.

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