Abstract

Brittleness is an important evaluation parameter in shale fracturing. Current methods of brittleness evaluation can be classified into two categories: elastic parameter-based and mineral content-based methods. However, both categories neglect the effect of anisotropy on the brittleness index (BI) computation of shale resources. We have redefined a new BI by integrating failure criteria stress and anisotropy parameters estimated (BIac) from seismic waves. According to the new definition, the BI at one analysis point varies with the incident angle of the seismic wave and confining pressures. We applied the BIac method to laboratory-measured shale samples acquired from the Monterey Formation, Santa Maria Basin. We found that the delta parameter δ is more responsive to the BIac than the gamma γ and epsilon ε anisotropic parameters, and it indicates a good linear fit relationship with the BIac at different angles. The slope of the linear is variable with the angles, thus delta can be used to predict the BIac in the Monterey Formation, Santa Maria Basin.

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