Sensitivity of seismic response to variations in the Woodford Shale, Delaware Basin, West Texas
The Woodford Shale is an important unconventional oil and gas resource. It can act as a source rock, seal and reservoir, and may have significant elastic anisotropy, which would greatly affect seismic response. Understanding how anisotropy may affect the seismic response of the Woodford Shale is important in processing and interpreting surface reflection seismic data. The objective of this study is to identify the differences between isotropic and anisotropic seismic responses in the Woodford Shale, and to understand how these anisotropy parameters and physical properties influence the resultant synthetic seismograms. I divide the Woodford Shale into three different units based on the data from the Pioneer Reliance Triple Crown #1 (RTC #1) borehole, which includes density, gamma ray, resistivity, sonic, dipole sonic logs, part of imaging (FMI) logs, elemental capture spectroscopy (ECS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) data from core samples. Different elastic parameters based on the well log data are used as input models to generate synthetic seismograms. I use a vertical impulsive source, which generates P-P, P-SV and SV-SV waves, and three component receivers for synthetic modeling. Sensitivity study is performed by assuming different anisotropic scenarios in the Woodford Shale, including vertical transverse isotropy (VTI), horizontal transverse isotropy (HTI) and orthorhombic anisotropy. Through the simulation, I demonstrate that there are notable differences in the seismic response between isotropic and anisotropic models. Three different types of elastic waves, i.e., P-P, P-SV and SV-SV waves respond differently to anisotropy parameter changes. Results suggest that multicomponent data might be useful in analyzing the anisotropy for the surface seismic data. Results also indicate the sensitivity offset range might be helpful in determining the location for prestack seismic amplitude analysis. All these findings demonstrate the potentially useful sensitivity parameters to the seismic data. The paucity of data resources limits the evaluation of the anisotropy in the Woodford. However, the seismic modeling with different type of anisotropy assumptions leads to understand what type of anisotropy and how this anisotropy affects the change of seismic data.