Velocity modeling to determine pore aspect ratios of the Haynesville Shale
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Worldwide interest in gas production from shale formations has rapidly increased in recent years, mostly by the successful development of gas shales in North America. The Haynesville Shale is a productive gas shale resource play located in Texas and Louisiana. It produces primarily through enhanced exposure to the reservoir and improved permeability resulting from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Accordingly, it is important to estimate the reservoir properties that influence the elastic and geomechanical properties from seismic data. This thesis estimates pore shapes, which affect the transport, elastic, and geomechancial properties, from wellbore seismic velocity in the Haynesville Shale. The approach for this work is to compare computed velocities from an appropriate rock physics model to measured velocities from well log data. In particular, the self-consistent approximation was used to calculate the model-based velocities. The Backus average was used to upscale the high-frequency well log data to the low-frequency seismic scale. Comparisons of calculated velocities from the self-consistent model to upscaled Backus-averaged velocities (at 20 Hz and 50 Hz) with a convergence of 0.5% made it possible to estimate pore aspect ratios as a function of depth. The first of two primary foci of this approach was to estimate pore shapes when a single fluid was emplaced in all the pores. This allowed for understanding pore shapes while minimizing the effects of pore fluids. Secondly, the effects of pore fluid properties were studied by comparing velocities for both patchy and uniform fluid saturation. These correspond to heterogeneous and homogeneous fluid mixing, respectively. Implementation of these fluid mixtures was to model them directly within the self-consistent approximation and by modeling dry-rock velocities, followed by standard Gassmann fluid substitution. P-wave velocities calculated by the self-consistent model for patchy saturation cases had larger values than those from Gassmann fluid substitution, but S-wave velocities were very similar. Pore aspect ratios for variable fluid properties were also calculated by both the self-consistent model and Gassmann fluid substitution. Pore aspect ratios determined for the patchy saturation cases were the smallest, and those for the uniform saturation cases were the largest. Pore aspect ratios calculated by Gassmann fluid substitution were larger because the velocity is inversely related to the aspect ratio in this particular modeling procedure. Estimates of pore aspect ratios for uniform saturation were 0.051 to 0.319 with the average of 0.171 from the velocity modeling using the self-consistent model. For patchy saturation, the aspect ratios were 0.035 to 0.296 with a mean of 0.145. These estimated pore aspect ratios from the patchy saturation case within the self-consistent model are considered the most reasonable set of values I determined. This is because the most likely in-situ fluid distribution is heterogeneous due to the extremely low permeability of the Haynesville Shale. Estimated pore aspect ratios using this modeling help us to understand elastic properties of the Haynesville Shale. In addition, this may help to find zones that correspond to optimal locations for fracturing the shale while considering brittleness and in-situ stress of the formation.