Abstract

Understanding the strengths and limitations of rapidly advancing distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) technology used for recording vertical seismic profile (VSP) data is achieved by comparing DAS and geophone data sets using both compressional-wave (P-wave) and shear-wave (S-wave) VSP data and their corresponding geophysical answer products. We validate the kinematics (time) and dynamics (amplitude) of DAS VSP data by examining the extracted slowness values, response-to-incident angles, corridor stacks, and common-depth-point (CDP) transforms. For kinematics validation, the slowness values computed from P- and S-wave components of DAS VSP data agree with the geophone slowness values. For dynamics validation, we confirm the cos2θ response of the fiber to the incident angle of the seismic wavefield for P-waves and sin 2θ for S-waves. The amplitudes of the P-wave corridor stacks are comparable; the S-wave corridor stacks are similar for shallow events and differ for later events due to the limited response of the fiber to S-waves at near-vertical angles of incidence. High-quality CDP transform images are obtained for P- and S-waves. These analyses indicate that properly acquired DAS VSP data sets are reliable for the kinetics and dynamics of both P- and S-waves. Once the fiber-optic cable is installed in the well, VSP acquisition costs are greatly reduced because DAS data may be acquired with no additional well intervention. The extensive spatial coverage obtained using fiber-optic cables, the ease of acquiring time-lapse (4D) VSP data, and the reliability of the resulting DAS VSP data sets are making DAS technology an extremely important VSP acquisition tool.

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