Abstract

We investigated the accuracy of surface seismic attributes in predicting fracture density variations within the Nordegg Formation in west central Alberta. We know from core, drill samples, well-log, and drilling data that the Nordegg zone is fractured to some degree. These fractures are of interest because the reservoir has very low permeability, and therefore natural fractures may materially affect well performance. 3D surface seismic techniques such as amplitude variation with azimuth or azimuthal AVO (AVAz), variation of velocity with azimuth (VVAz), curvature, and coherence techniques are all tools that have been used to predict fractures in a qualitative fashion. In this study, we wanted to understand how well these attributes predicted the reservoir quality in a quantitative fashion. Previous quantitative studies have used image log orientation data or estimated ultimate recoveries (EUR) in vertical wells as validation data. The conclusiveness of these studies has been subject to several problems: firstly, the limited sample statistics provided by vertical wells applied to the validation of lateral variations, and secondly by the potential nonuniqueness of the EUR to fracture density relationship.

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