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In recent years the Oil & Gas Industry has been searching for new technologies to increase 3D seismic resolution and fracture detection for shale unconventional reservoirs. Since most shale reservoirs are thin-layered and below seismic resolution there is a need of a new technology capable of resolving thin shale layers and small-scale faults and fractures. In this study, I will introduce, the concept of super-resolution and diffraction imaging to address the recovery of sub-resolution scale features in seismic imaging going beyond the well-known Rayleigh resolution limit of half the seismic wavelength (quarter of a wavelength for a two-way time). A 3D seismic survey from Stratton Field, TX, shot by the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) was used to analyze and discuss the results obtained after performing a complete PSTM, PSDM and Diffraction Imaging sequence. The Stratton Field geology does not have complex structures nor salt domes. It is a vertical succession of sand-shale sequences with two major growth faults and several secondary antithetic faults that produce reservoir compartmentalization. The Diffraction Imaging results showed interesting features not seen in the PSDM and the similarity volumes. It was able to image under-resolution discontinuities that could be interpreted as faults. After analyzing the results and observing the improvement in the image, it is recommended the use of Diffraction Imaging as a complementary tool to conventional PSTM and PSDM sequences, especially in thin-layered shale reservoirs where the identification of faults is one of the main goals. The details obtained in the image helped to interpret the seismic volume and the idea of imaging discontinuities beyond the Rayleigh limit of resolution was supported using a synthetic model showing a very similar case.



Diffraction, Imaging, Geophysics, Stratton Field