Estimation of elastic properties of hydrocarbon-bearing shale by combining effective-medium calculations, conventional well logs, and dispersion processing of sonic waveforms
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Identification of favorable production zones in hydrocarbon-bearing shale often requires the quantification of in-situ mechanical properties. These properties are also necessary for the optimal design of hydro-fracturing operations. Rock elastic properties are affected by volumetric concentrations of mineral constituents, porosity, fluid saturations, and total organic carbon (TOC). Rapid depth variations of rock properties often encountered in shale gas formations make conventional petrophysical interpretation methods inadequate to estimate volumetric concentration of mineral constituents. We introduce a new method to assess elastic properties of organic shale based on the combined quantitative interpretation of sonic, nuclear, and resistivity logs. In-situ elastic properties of organic shale are estimated by (a) improving the assessment of volumetric concentrations of mineral constituents, (b) implementing reliable rock physics models and mixing laws for organic shale, and (c) numerically reproducing wideband frequency dispersions of Stoneley and flexural waves. An example of the application of the method is described in the Haynesville shale gas formation. Estimates of mineral concentrations, porosity, and fluid saturations are in agreement with available laboratory core measurements and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) data. Calculated layer-by-layer P- and S-wave velocities differ by less than 15% from measured velocities thus confirming the reliability of the method. Finally, based on the new interpretation method developed in this thesis, correlations are found between mineral concentrations, TOC, porosity, and rock elastic properties, which can be used in the selection of optimal production zones.