SEISMIC MODELING OF HETEROGENEITY SCALES OF GAS HYDRATE RESERVOIRS Huang, Jun-Wei; Bellefleur, Gilles; Milkereit, Bernd
The presence of gas hydrates in permafrost regions has been confirmed by core samples recovered from the Mallik gas hydrate research wells located within Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Strong vertical variations of compressional and shear velocities and weak surface seismic expressions of gas hydrates indicate that lithological heterogeneities control the lateral distribution of gas hydrates. Seismic scattering studies predict that typical horizontal scales and strong velocity contrasts due to gas hydrate concentration will generate strong forward scattering, leaving only weak energy to be captured by surface receivers. In order to understand the distribution of gas hydrates and the scattering effects on seismic waves, heterogeneous petrophysical reservoir models were constructed based on the P-wave and S-wave velocity logs. Random models with pre-determined heterogeneity scales can also be used to simulate permafrost interval as well as sediments without hydrates. Using the established relationship between hydrate concentration and P-wave velocity, we found that gas hydrate volume content can be determined by correlation length and Hurst number. Using the Hurst number obtained from Mallik 2L-38, and the correlation length estimated from acoustic impedance inversion, gas hydrate volume fraction in Mallik area was estimated to be 17%, approximately 7x108 m3 free gas stored in a hydrate bearing interval with 250,000 m2 lateral extension and 100 m depth. Simulations of seismic wave propagation in randomly heterogeneous models demonstrate energy loss due to scattering. With the available modeling algorithm, the impact of heterogeneity scales on seismic scattering and optimum acquisition geometries will be investigated in future studies.
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