Seismic imaging of fractures in reservoirs
Yingcai Zheng, University of Houston
Commercial production of unconventional resources has introduced many disruptive changes to the energy industry ranging from business aspects to technologies. As of now, about 2/3 of the U.S. oil production is from shale whereas such production was nearly nonexistent a decade ago. Previously, seismic imaging was primarily used to map geological boundaries and structural traps. However, in the development of unconventional resources, seismic imaging technologies shall be adapted to address the uneven spatial distribution characteristics of resources and the associated environmental concerns. I will talk about how seismic waves can be used to address these issues and in particular to characterize natural fracture distributions to infer permeable pathways to increase productivity.