Many technical challenges must be overcome to ensure the economic development of a shale gas resource including: (1) making an accurate assessment of gas distribution and saturation, (2) identifying target zones that optimize the impact of hydraulic fracture stimulation and completion, and (3) drilling safe and cost-effective wells. In order to meet these challenges, it is necessary to characterize the physical and mechanical properties of the shales. Sonic logs provide important data about the rock and fluid properties that can be used for this characterization. One motivation for this work was to determine how sonic logs in gas-bearing shales can be used to characterize rock properties, derive mechanical properties, and estimate in-situ stresses.

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