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Bridging the Measurement Scale Gap in Seismic and Rock Physics Characterization of Unconventional Plays

A public lecture by Dr Kyle Spikes, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas, Austin and 2016 UWA Gledden Visiting Fellow

SpikesSeismic and rock physics characterization of unconventional oil and gas plays requires the integration of data from nanometer and micron scales to the field seismic scale at 10s of meters. This range encompasses 10 to 12 orders of magnitude.

In this lecture, Dr Spikes will discuss the information we can use from these different scales, their integration, and ultimately, the limitations. For unconventional resources, the ultimate goal of geophysical characterization is to relate the elastic properties to fracturing and engineering parameters, which is a difficult task. One formation that Dr Spikes and his fellow researchers have concentrated on is the Haynesville Shale. By combining information from multiple scales, they are able to describe shales in terms of rock properties. 

Kyle Spikes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a CO-PI of the EDGER Forum consortium that develops techniques to integrate geologic information with quantitative geophysical tools for seismic reservoir characterization. This area of research includes both forward and inverse problems, which combine rock physics, stochastic geologic modelling, seismic inversion, and wavefield simulation. In addition, the work spans across scales from sub-micron high-resolution images to the surface seismic scale of tens of meters with the ultimate goal of obtaining heterogeneous and anisotropic rock properties at scales of interest. These techniques have been applied successfully to projects ranging from CO2  sequestration to conventional reservoir descriptions to shale characterization. Current projects with graduate students include velocity dispersion modelling in wellbore sonic waveforms, analyses of VSP responses before and after hydraulic fracturing, and wavefield simulations in realistic fractured media.

Dr Spikes was a 2016 UWA Gledden Visiting Fellow.