SPWLA Acoustic SIG Webinar Bi-monthly Series 2022

SPWLA Acoustic SIG Webinar Bi-monthly Series 2022

Bi-Monthly Series 1

Thursday, September 29th 
8:00am – 9:00am US Central Time

The Road to Achieve Business Value from Borehole Sonic Imaging

Brian Hornby
leads efforts at Hornby Geophysical Services which focuses on products for downhole acoustic and elastic wave measurements. Brian achieved his Ph.D. degree at the University of Cambridge in 1995 and has over 30 years’ experience, beginning as a field engineer and then moving to R&D roles.  Brian started his career with Schlumberger, ending up with research scientist positions in Schlumberger-Doll Research and Cambridge Research labs where he focused on advanced solutions for borehole sonic measurements and Rock Physics solutions. Next in 1996 Brian joined ARCO and then BP with the merger where he was a Senior Geophysical Advisor with a focus on borehole geophysics, including 3D VSP imaging and reservoir monitoring using permanent borehole sensors, including DAS (Distributed Acoustic Sensing).  After BP Brian joined Halliburton in 2016 as Chief Scientific Advisor for Acoustics where he led efforts focused on advanced borehole sonic answer products, leaving Halliburton in 2020. Brian’s work experience in both Oil Companies and Oil Service Companies has given him the background and experience needed to successfully drive new technologies to a place where commercial success is achieved.

Reflection sonic imaging has been around for decades. However, there are still open questions on range of application and what can be really taken to the bank to impact our business challenges. Imaging of near-borehole bed boundaries is well established; however, in many cases, the results simply reflect what we see from a borehole wall imaging survey. Of bigger interest is seeing more complex geology away from the well that is not predictable by borehole measurements. Clear imaging of faults, overturned beds, and abrupt changes in structure has been demonstrated — all of interest to those hoping to understand the bigger geologic picture away from the well. Guiding drilling in horizontal wells with real-time imaging of reservoir boundaries is another prize that has not yet been achieved but needs to   be firmly in the radar.

To further these initial insights, asset teams need to have a clear workflow to first evaluate   and quality control the sonic imaging processing and then to use and benefit from the new information the borehole sonic image brings to the table. A key item of course is this “What would we do differently with the information from this image?”. To answer this question essential is involvement by multi-discipline asset team specialists including Petrophysicists, Geologists and Seismic Interpreters to first quality control the sonic processing and then to bring an integrated interpretation where the sonic image can be interpreted with confidence.

Beyond that, there is strong interest around imaging of fractures. This is a more controversial topic — here imaging of single fractures simply fails seismic imaging 101 — which is that the wavelength of the incident wave, for example, a dipole-induced body wave shear with a wavelength of ~3 m, is much greater than the size of the fracture, for example, 2 mm for a large fracture. Therefore, one may conclude that the fracture should be invisible     to a signal of that wavelength. Now the fluid in the fracture does represent a shear disconnect, however there will be an instantaneous conversion of S to P to S across the fracture as well as a significant part of the fracture will have both sides touching. Therefore, the fundamental question is this — what size of fractures or cluster of fractures is needed to deliver reflected energy of sufficient quality so that useful images can be created away from the well?

In this talk we will discuss a sonic imaging processing quality control flow to give Operating Company end users understanding and confidence in the result. Sonic imaging examples will be shown, including data from an extended reach/horizonal well acquired by a drill-pipe conveyed slim-hole sonic and also data from two vertical wells penetrating flat bedding and high-angle fractures.

Conclusions from these examples will be given along with thoughts on the Road Ahead. Finally, I will present a “Traffic lights” display showing, for different target applications, showing my views on where we are at now, and where we will be going in 1-5 years and 5 years plus.

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9/29/2022 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

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