Abstract

Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) is a novel technology that uses an optical fiber cable as a sensor for acoustic signals and can take almost any downhole fiber-optic installation or deployment and turn the fiber-optic cable into a large downhole seismic array. This array can provide enhanced vertical seismic profile (VSP) imaging and monitor fluids and pressure changes in the hydrocarbon-production reservoir. Walkaway VSP data acquired over a formerly producing well in northeastern China provided a rich set of high-quality DAS walkaway VSP data. A standard VSP data preprocessing workflow was applied, followed by prestack Kirchhoff time migration. In the DAS preprocessing step, we were faced with additional challenges: strong coherent noise due to cable slapping and ringing along the borehole casing. Compared with an earlier offset VSP data set using 327 levels acquired with conventional 3C downhole geophones in the same well, the final preprocessed DAS walkaway VSP has a larger vertical aperture, resulting in a wider lateral image. The single-well DAS walkaway VSP images provide a good result with higher vertical and lateral resolution than the surface seismic in the objective area. The vertical-well environment, which lacks the ability to effectively “clamp” the sensor to the borehole-casing wall by touching, creates a unique set of challenges. Although earth signal was recorded with almost all the shots, there was also a considerable amount of noise. Much of the noise was due to the physical placement of the wireline in the well and was expressed by slapping and ringing. Reported here are lessons learned in handling the wireline cable and subsequent special DAS data processing steps developed to remediate some of the practical wireline deployment issues. Optical wireline cable as a conveyance of fiber-optic cables for VSP in vertical wells will open the use of the DAS system to wider applications.

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