This study deals with mapping small scale discontinuities (hereinafter called rock fabric) on 3D reflection seismic data. Rock fabric and other properties such as stress anisotropy, intrinsic anisotropy of shales and faults, play a crucial role in understanding the behavior of fracture propagation during hydraulic stimulation. A new seismic vector attribute is being introduced and applied which picks up subtle discontinuities in the 3D reflection seismic data providing a high level of detail in the rock heterogeneity. This attribute has been linked to microseismic events acquired during a hydraulic fracturing job conducted in the Upper Montney Formation in NE British Columbia, Canada. The results suggest that the spatial locations of microseismic events are influenced by the degree of rock fabric. Microseismic events indicate a complex fracture growth in areas where there is a high degree of rock fabric and more planar induced fractures in areas with a low degree of rock fabric. Additionally, areas with a high seismic moment correlate with regions characterized by a high degree of rock fabric. This study illustrates the benefits of using 3D reflection seismic for mapping rock fabric and demonstrates the importance of incorporating this knowledge when characterizing shale reservoirs.


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