Ariel Lellouch, a postdoctoral scholar in geophysics, and co-author Biondo Biondi, the Barney and Estelle Morris Professor, received an honorable mention in the category of Best Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting. The award was shared with co-authors Steve Horne, Mark Meadows and Tamas Nemeth from Chevron.
They used the unprecedented resolution offered by seismic sensing with optical fibers to study the physical properties of guided waves in the subsurface. Their analysis showed that shale gas reservoirs act as seismic waveguides. Waves propagating through them are strongly influenced by fluid-filled fractures, and they can thus be used to characterize reservoir behavior during production stages.
“This discovery can lead to optimal well-spacing design and minimization of injected fluids, thus mitigating the environmental impact of natural gas recovery,” Lellouch said.