One of the most urgent problems of oil and gas reservoir monitoring is the assessment of fractured reservoir infill type — with fluid-filled, gas-filled, or closed (no-reservoir situation) fractures, which is of significant value for time-lapse seismic technology. We used the grid-characteristic method for numerical modeling of seismic responses from fractured periodic elastoacoustic structures. We consider every single fracture individually (without using the effective medium approach), and we set explicit boundary conditions on fracture surfaces. We assume realistic height-to-thickness ratios — fracture opening (aperture) — equaling three to five orders of magnitude. These techniques make our models as close to real fractured reservoirs as possible. Analyzing the simulated seismic responses, we solve the problem of assessing the fractured reservoir infill type. As a result, previously unknown properties of seismic responses from fractured reservoirs were revealed. We use amplitude variation with offset (AVO) as the main tool for the analysis of the fracture infill type effect on the seismic response in three frequency ranges. Three out of four models exhibit a stable positive AVO gradient regardless of the rock type and frequency range. The analysis of linearized Zoeppritz equations confirms such AVO behavior. We have developed quantitative criteria (indicators) for recognition of a fracture infill type. Amplitude-frequency analysis is shown to expand the capabilities of the infill type recognition. Thus, a method for determining the fractured reservoir infill type is established for carbonate and shale formations, which could become the basis for a new direction in time-lapse technology.

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