Predicting fracture swarms and corridors in unconventional reservoirs is part of the sweet spot mapping workflow. Naturally occurring fracturing can either enhance the hydrocarbon production or diminish the effects of fracking. In any case, it is essential to be able to map them before any drilling decision is made. Commonly, these features are determined through indirect methods such as picking of horizons and faults and inferring areas that are under stress. Post stack attributes such as coherence and curvature are routinely utilized and in general add value to this task. Diffraction imaging is the only direct measurement of small scale discontinuities like fracture swarms and corridors. They are generated whenever the wave encounters an irregularity that's of detectable size and are not restricted to events that exhibit displacement like is needed for coherence or curvature.
Diffractions are much weaker than the reflections and are generally lost in the seismic processing. To separate diffractions from reflections is challenging but we like to present the MultiFocusing diffraction imaging technology that is based on a coherent summation of the diffracted waves and suppression of the reflective part.
Azimuthal diffraction imaging, which extracts the diffractivity along chosen azimuths adds information of the dominant fracture direction and will be discussed.