The ability to identify fracture clusters and corridors and their prevalent direction within many carbonates and unconventional shale gas/tight gas reservoirs may have a significant impact on field development planning as well as on the placement of individual wells. We believe seismic fracture prediction provides the best opportunity to identify the spatial distribution of fracture corridors, but the reliability of seismic fracture detection technology is constantly being questioned. The criticism results from the degree to which the acquisition footprint, random and coherent noise in the seismic data, and near-surface/overburden issues affect extracted seismic “fracture” attributes. Therefore, a key issue is the separation of artifacts caused by the acquisition footprint and near-surface or overburden anisotropy/structural variations from the anomalies caused by the presence of fractures.

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