Discrete 3D fracture network extraction and characterization from 3D seismic data — A case study at Teapot Dome

  • Thachaparambil M
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Three-dimensional discrete fracture networks (DFNs) extracted from the seismic data of the Tensleep Formation at Teapot Dome successfully matched 1D fracture data from multiple boreholes within the area. The extraction process used four seismic attributes, i.e., variance, chaos, curvature, and spectral edge, and their multiple realizations to define seismic discontinuities that could potentially represent fractures within the Tensleep Formation. All of the potential fracture attributes were further enhanced using a fracture-tracking attribute for better extraction and analysis of seismic discontinuity surfaces and their network properties. A state-of-the-art discontinuity surface extraction and characterization workflow uniformly extracted and interactively characterized the seismic discontinuity surfaces and networks that correlate with borehole fracture data. Among the attributes, a fracture-tracking attribute cube created out of the high-resolution spectral-edge attribute provided the best match with the borehole fracture data from the Tensleep Formation. Therefore, the extracted discontinuity planes were classified as fractures and then characterized. The extracted fracture population also matched earlier published records of faults and fractures at Teapot Dome. Unlike the conventional method, which uses 1D borehole fracture data as primary input and 3D seismic data as a guide volume during DFN modeling, I used 3D seismic attributes as the primary data and the 1D borehole fracture data only for quality control. I also evaluated the power of converting seismic fracture attribute volumes into discrete surfaces and networks for effective correlation with 1D fracture logs from boreholes.

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  • Manoj Vallikkat Thachaparambil

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