Abstract

Perforation shots can be recorded by downhole distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) arrays. In this study, we demonstrate that guided waves induced by perforation shots propagate in a low-velocity shale reservoir layer. Such guided waves have a high frequency content of up to 700 Hz and are dispersive, with lower frequencies propagating faster than higher frequencies. They can propagate as P- and S-waves, and their group velocity is higher than their phase velocity. The high temporal and spatial resolution of the DAS array enables unaliased recording despite short wavelengths. The guided waves disappear from the records when the well exits the shale formation. Synthetic modeling predicts their existence for acoustic and elastic cases in simple velocity models. We show that perforation shots from an offset well at a distance of about 270 m can be recorded by the DAS array. Induced guided S-waves undergo significant disturbances while propagating through previously stimulated zones. These disturbances manifest as kinematic and dynamic changes of the recorded wavefield and as scattered events. The nature of the stimulation-induced changes is interpreted as a combination of unknown spatial and temporal effects linked to fluid-filled fractures. Guided waves hold tremendous potential for high-resolution reservoir imaging and should be used in conjunction with conventional DAS arrays and state-of-the-art DAS interrogators.

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