Accurate Estimation of the Fine Layering Effect on the Wave Propagation in the Carbonate Rocks

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Fateh Bouchaala and Mohammed Yusuf Ali, Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The attenuation caused to the seismic wave during its propagation can be mainly divided into two parts, the scattering and the intrinsic attenuation.

The scattering is an elastic redistribution of the energy due to the medium heterogeneities. However the intrinsic attenuation is an inelastic phenomenon, mainly due to the fluid-grain friction during the wave passage. The intrinsic attenuation is directly related to the physical characteristics of the medium, so this parameter is very can be used for media characterization and fluid detection, which is beneficial for the oil and gas industry.

The intrinsic attenuation is estimated by subtracting the scattering from the total attenuation, therefore the accuracy of the intrinsic attenuation is directly dependent on the accuracy of the total attenuation and the scattering. The total attenuation can be estimated from the recorded waves, by using in-situ methods as the spectral ratio and frequency shift methods. The scattering is estimated by assuming the heterogeneities as a succession of stacked layers, each layer is characterized by a single density and velocity.

The accuracy of the scattering is strongly dependent on the layer thicknesses, especially in the case of the media composed of carbonate rocks, such media are known for their strong heterogeneity. Previous studies gave some assumptions for the choice of the layer thickness, but they showed some limitations especially in the case of carbonate rocks. In this study we established a relationship between the layer thicknesses and the frequency of the propagation, after certain mathematical development of the Generalized O’Doherty-Anstey formula. We validated this relationship through some synthetic tests and real data provided from a VSP carried out over an onshore oilfield in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, primarily composed of carbonate rocks.

The results showed the utility of our relationship for an accurate estimation of the scattering, and even for other application related to fine layering effect, as to determine the averaging window length for the upscaling method, Backus averaging.