Unconventional reservoirs have a unique set of problems. Most production wells are drilled horizontally through the reservoir rock and hydraulic fracturing is applied to increase permeability in the reservoir. The pre-drilling knowledge of natural fracture corridors and small offset faults is very important in this case. Seismic resolution from conventional reflection imaging is generally not sufficient to resolve such small scale rock properties. Diffracted waves are events generated by small scale subsurface heterogeneities and discontinuities (including fractures). Detection and imaging the diffractive component of the total wavefield opens a new perspective to find and characterize fracture zones in carbonate environment.


Detection of natural fractures is important when developing unconventional reservoirs, as they can help production by adding permeability and hydrocarbon storage to the system or hinder production by creating loss zones for hydraulic fracture fluid and blunting hydraulic fractures. Understanding the location and orientation of natural fractures is important for optimal well placement when sweet spotting an unconventional reservoir play.

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