Attenuation modes from Vertical Seismic Profiling and sonic waveform in a carbonate reservoir, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

F. Bouchaala, M. Y. Ali, J. Matsushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this study, we derived accurate and high-resolution attenuation profiles using spectral ratio, centroid frequency shift, and seismic interferometry methods. We utilized high-quality vertical seismic profiling and sonic waveform data acquired in a carbonate reservoir located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The scattering profile of vertical-seismic-profiling data contributes significantly to wave attenuation that can be explained by high heterogeneity of the carbonate rocks. The scattering profile also correlates well with the reservoir lithology and fractured zones imaged by the Formation MicroImager. A tar mat zone occurs within the lower part of Arab D reservoir. This zone corresponds with a decrease in scattering attenuation. The tar mat may have filled the pores and made this zone less heterogeneous. Therefore, a decrease in scattering attenuation can be considered a potential parameter for tar mat detection. After removing the scattering effect, nonphysical negative intrinsic attenuation values still exist at certain depths. The most probable explanation for this is the three-dimensional scattering effect, which is not taken into account in this paper, and short-period upgoing waves. Seismic interferometry is less sensitive to the remaining scattered upgoing wave, which is why seismic interferometry method shows fewer negative values than the spectral ratio and centroid frequency shift methods. Compared with vertical-seismic-profiling attenuation, scattering attenuation estimated from sonic waveforms recorded in the reservoir zones is insignificant, and the intrinsic attenuation is almost equivalent to the total attenuation. We attribute this underestimation of the scattering attenuation to the sparse spatial sampling of the sonic logging data at 0.1524 m, which is not sufficient to appropriately estimate the scattering effect in heterogeneous media. The cross-plots between sonic attenuation and various petrophysical properties show slight dependence between the sonic attenuation and neutron porosity and resistivity in the reservoir zones. However, we can highlight from these plots two zones belonging to the Arab reservoirs. The lower zone corresponds to Arab D reservoir and displays higher sonic intrinsic attenuation than the upper zone (Arab A–C reservoirs) due to higher oil saturation. This highlights the sensitivity of the intrinsic attenuation to the oil saturation.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1030-1047
Number of pages18
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Attenuation
  • Carbonate rocks
  • Sonic waveforms
  • Tar mat
  • Vertical seismic profiling


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