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Chapter 2

Borehole Seismology

Dr. Abdullatif Al-Shuhail (KFUPM)

Introduction

seismic energy using one or more wells.

resolution and less near-surface effects.

Expensive because it requires drilling wells.

Only near-well area (0.1 100 m) is sampled.

Low spatial resolution because wells are usually drilled far

from each other.

Uphole surveys

Acoustic logging

Crosshole surveys

Uphole Surveys

shallow well (50-100 m) that penetrates the

subweathering layer.

Objective is estimating the velocity and thickness of

the weathering layer for use in static corrections.

Two methods:

Uphole survey: Sources are placed in the borehole at

known depths and a receiver is placed near the well head.

Downhole survey: Receivers are placed in the borehole at

known depths and a source is placed near the well head.

Uphole Surveys

Uphole survey

R

Z3

Z2

Z1

S1

S2

S3

Weathering

layer

Subweathering

layer

Z

Uphole Surveys

Downhole survey

S

Z3

Z2

Z1

R1

R2

R3

Weathering

layer

Subweathering

layer

Z

Uphole Surveys

Interpretation

following steps:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Applying any necessary corrections to these times

Plotting the data on a T-Z plot

Identification of various layers

Fitting lines to the T-Z dataset of each layer

Computing the velocity and thickness of each layer

Uphole Surveys

Interpretation

Conversion to vertical time

possible system delays as well as data

extrapolation.

computation of vertical time from the measured

slant time.

Uphole Surveys

Interpretation

Picked times represent rays that traveled along

S X

slanted paths.

We need time along a vertical path.

The correction formula is:

ZTS

Z

TV

Z2 X 2

TS: slanted (measured) time

Z: receiver depth, X: shot offset from well head

This formula is correct for a flat surface and a

surface shot.

Uphole Surveys

Interpretation

T

Layer 1

Layer 1

Layer 2

Thickness

of layer 1

T

T1 = Z / V1

Layer 2

T2 = T02 + Z / V2

Z

Plot T-Z data and

identify layers by

grouping points lying

along a common slope

Z

Fit lines to T-Z dataset

of each layer

Z

Estimate thickness

and velocity of layers

Uphole Surveys

Examples

Uphole Surveys

Examples

survey after corrections.

Z (ft)

15

30

45

60

75

90

105

120

135

150

T (ms)

3.8

7.3

13.1

15.3

17.3

18.5

20.1

21.1

22.1

23.4

Z (ft)

165

180

195

210

225

240

255

270

285

300

T (ms)

24.3

25.4

26.3

27.9

28.8

29.8

30.9

31.8

33.1

33.5

Z (ft)

315

330

345

360

375

390

405

420

435

T (ms)

34.8

35.7

37

38.2

38.9

39.5

41

42

42.9

Uphole Surveys

Example

survey: 50

45

40

35

y = 0.0703x + 12.65

30

T (ms)

V1 = 3,785 ft/s

V2 = 14,261 ft/s

H1 = 65 ft

R2 = 0.9985

Weathering-layer

thickness = 65 ft

25

20

15

y = 0.2642x

10

R = 0.9737

5

0

0

50

100

150

200

250

Z (ft)

300

350

400

450

500

that penetrates fairly deep target layers.

Objective is estimating the velocity and thickness of

subsurface layers.

It is performed using receivers that are placed in the

borehole at known depths and a source that is placed

near the well head.

It is similar to a downhole survey but using a deeper

well and larger receiver spacing.

S

Z3

Z2

Interval Velocity

Z1

R1

R2

R3

Interpretation

the following steps:

1. Picking the first arrivals from each depth level

2. Applying any necessary corrections to these times

3. Calculating the interval velocity between each successive

receivers

4. Computing the RMS velocity profile

Interpretation

neglected because depths are large compared to

shot offset.

The interval velocity between two successive

receivers (Ri, Ri+1) is calculated as:

DZ

Vi

DTvi

DZ: receiver spacing

DTvi: difference in vertical time from datum

to receivers (Ri, Ri+1)

Interpretation

calculated as:

N

VRMS N

2

V

i DTvi

i 1

N

DT

i 1

vi

DTvi: vertical time within the ith interval

found by velocity analysis of surface seismic data.

Interpretation

Interval Velocity

RMS Velocity

Examples

Examples

The following is a T-Z plot of an actual check-shot

survey after necessary corrections.

T (ms)

0

0

3000

Z (ft)

6000

9000

12000

15000

250

500

750

1000

1250

Example

The following is a plot of Vi-Z:

Vi (ft/s)

5000

0

3000

Z (ft)

6000

9000

12000

15000

10000

15000

20000

25000

30000

Example

The following is a plot of VRMS-Z:

VRMS (ft/s)

5000

0

3000

Z (ft)

6000

9000

12000

15000

7000

9000

11000

13000

15000

Check Shot

Surveys

VRMS (ft/s)

VRMS-TWTT:

TWTT (s)

1.00

1.25

1.50

1.75

2.00

2.25

15000

0.75

13000

0.50

11000

0.25

9000

Example

7000

5000

0.00

arrivals along a well that penetrates target layers.

subsurface layers.

borehole at known depths and sources that are placed

on the ground surface.

Geometry

S

Z=H

T=D/V

Downgoing

wave

TZ/V

TH/V

Z

R

Upgoing wave

V

Layer 1

TT0-Z/V

T=T0 =2H/V

Layer 2

The Direct Wave

downgoing wave with the following T-Z curve:

Td

D2 Z 2

V

a line (TZ/V) as D2/Z2 << 1, which is typical in

exploration VSP surveys.

The Reflected Wave

upgoing wave with the following T-Z curve:

Tr

D 2 (2 H Z ) 2

V

a line (T2H/V-Z/V) as D2/Z2 << 1, which is typical

in exploration VSP surveys.

The depth at which the T-Z curves of the direct and

reflected waves intersect is the layer thickness.

Processing

1.

2.

3.

4.

Deconvolution of upgoing wave by downgoing wave

Separation of the downgoing and upgoing waves

Moveout correction of the primary upgoing event by:

1.

2.

Adding the downgoing wave time to the same depth if the source

offset is small compared to the depth

Using ray tracing if the source offset is comparable to the depth

comparable with stacked surface seismic sections.

Processing

Processing

transformation of upgoing wave from VSP to

surface-seismic display

Processing

transformation from VSP to surface-seismic display

Advantages and Disadvantages

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Better control on multiples

Better control on attenuation effects

Ability to study converted waves

Ability to study areas closely below and above an

interface

1. Need a fairly deep borehole

2. Samples only rocks near the borehole (10-100 m)

Zero-offset VSP

VSP types

More VSP types

Examples

Examples

Examples

Examples

VSP section

dominated by tube

wave

Tube wave is a wave

that travels along the

borehole axis with a

speed that is lower

than the P-wave in

rocks surrounding

the borehole.

subsurface formations.

This is done by measuring the time required for a

sound wave to travel a specific distance through the

formation.

The travel time of the wave in a formation depends

on the following properties of the formation:

Porosity

Composition

Fluid content

Operation

A basic sonde consists of a source and two

receivers one-foot apart.

The sonde is lowered down the borehole and waves

are generated and recorded continuously.

The sonde is usually positioned in the borehole

center using centralizing springs.

Frequencies used are in the range of 2 - 35 kHz.

Typical investigation radius is 0.2 1.2 m.

Sonde types

Transit time

Interpretation

tool depth.

The reciprocal of Dt gives the formation velocity

(Vr) at that depth.

The total formation (sonic) porosity () is

calculated as:

1 / Vr 1 / Vs

1 / V f 1 / Vs

Vf: pore-fluid velocity (tabulated)

Vs: rock-matrix velocity (tabulated)

Acoustic Well

Logging

Typical logs

Acoustic Well

Logging

Example

while geophones on the surface are recording.

Drill-bit waves are reflected off deeper interfaces

and recorded at the surface.

These reflections are used to predict the rock

structure ahead of the drill bit.

It is possibly the only seismic method that can be

used for real-time decisions about the drilling

operation.

Operation

continuous random signal.

A geophone at the top end of the drill string

recording the drill-bit signal is used as a pilot.

Several surface geophones around the well head are

recording the drill-bit signal.

The surface geophone signal is auto-correlated with

the pilot signal in order to compress the drill-bit

signal into a zero-phase wavelet.

Interpretation

drill-bit-rock interface will have zero delay time.

A reflection from a deeper rock boundary will have

a delay equal to the two-way travel time between

the drill bit and the boundary.

Knowing the formation velocity, the distance from

the drill bit to the boundary can be estimated.

As the drill bit approaches the rock boundary, the

delay time decreases and the reflection becomes a

linear event.

Geometry

Example of pilot and geophone data

Geometry of reflections in the pilot section

Example of reflections in the pilot section

Comparing VSP and SWD sections

Crosshole Survey

for sources and the other for receivers.

It gives a detailed model of the rocks between the

wells, especially if tomography is used.

Advantages include:

source and receivers are below the weathering layer.

It delivers high frequency data (~ kHz) leading to very

high spatial resolution of the derived model.

Availability of shear and converted waves.

Crosshole Survey

Operation

receivers are allowed to record.

The process is repeated after lowering the source

while holding the receivers depths constant.

The receivers depths may be changed in order to

have better subsurface coverage.

Crosshole Survey

Processing and Interpretation

Separation of downgoing and upgoing reflected P-wave

CDP mapping using ray tracing

between wells using all arrival types and/or tomography

Construction of depth-offset seismic section from all shot

records

Crosshole Survey

Velocity computation

Crosshole Survey

Application

Crosshole Survey

Example

Crosshole Survey

Processing raw receiver

gather (at depth 1392 m)

Crosshole Survey

Processing after directwaves removal

Crosshole Survey

Processing Separation to downgoing and upgoing

reflected P-wave sections

Upgoing

Downgoing

Crosshole

Survey

Processing CDP

mapping

Crosshole Survey

Interpretation construction of depth-offset

seismic section

Crosshole Survey

Interpretation end result of crosshole

tomography

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