Extraction and characterization of faults and fractures from 3D VSP data in a carbonate reservoir: A workflow

Eric M. Takam Takougang, Mohammed Y. Ali, Youcef Bouzidi, Fateh Bouchaala, Akmal A. Sultan, Aala I. Mohamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We present a workflow for the extraction and characterization of fractures and faults using a Reverse Time Migrated (RTM) volume from 3D Vertical Seismic Profile data (3D VSP) acquired in an oilfield offshore Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The workflow consists of: preconditioning of the input RTM volume, which involves removal of acquisition footprints; extraction of faults and fractures using a semblance based discontinuity attribute; binary filtering and clustering for characterization and interpretation using prior geological information, as well as removals of unwanted features such as those related to stratigraphy; and finally interpretation. Complex networks of lineaments were extracted after application of the workflow. The location of lineaments with length greater than 200 m and orientated WNW-ESE to NW-SE correlates with a known flower structure which has a trend similar to that of the Proterozoic Najd Fault System that cut the Arabian Peninsula. Lineaments with strike directions ENE-WSW and NE-SW are interpreted to be related to reactivation of basement faults and correspond to the Hormuz Salt basin's major trend in the Arabian Gulf. Dominant strike directions of lineaments at three reservoir levels correlate with dominant strike directions of interpreted fractures from Fullbore Formation Microimager (FMI) and core data; thus implying that they are likely related to fractures or fracture corridors. Lineaments with orientation NNE-SSW correlate with closed fractures while lineaments with orientation NNW-SSE correlate with open fractures. Zones with relatively high fracture intensity are generally located north and north-west of the VSP well in the reservoir zones. The good correlation of the results with interpreted fractures from core and FMI data shows the robustness of the workflow and gives confidence to the results.

Original languageBritish English
Article number106328
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • 3D VSP migration
  • Acquisition footprints
  • Faults
  • Fractures
  • Seismic attributes


Dive into the research topics of 'Extraction and characterization of faults and fractures from 3D VSP data in a carbonate reservoir: A workflow'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this