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An Introduction to DAS: Using Fiber Optics for Geoscience Applications

Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

Monday, 27 September 2021, 1:20 p.m.–5:20 p.m.  |  Denver, ColoradoMile High Room 1 - Colorado Convention Center

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Location: In-Person – Colorado Convention Center (Speakers presenting in-person and online)

The first Distributed Acoustic Sensing DAS VSP paper was presented at the SEG conference ten years ago (Mestayer el al 2011). Early adoption of DAS was focused on borehole seismic but quickly evolved into other areas of surveillance including production and completions monitoring. The flexibility of the technology proved that geophysics with DAS could extend into other areas like earthquake seismology, near surface geophysics as well as emerging fields like smart city monitoring and ocean bottom seismics that take advantage of existing fiber optic networks.

The goal of this session is to provide a general overview of the technology to new practitioners. The first part of the session gives a quick overview of the fundamentals of the technology, from the physics of the measurement, the fiber architecture and deployment as well as the interrogator unit.

The second half of this session focuses on representative applications of the technology in different fields. Borehole seismic is represented by studies of 4D reservoir monitoring in both land and offshore settings. Repeatability and sensitivity of the measurements is validated by showing progression of fluid movement images by DAS data in CO2 storage facilities and deep water waterflood reservoirs.

An important application of DAS for completions and unconventional reservoir focuses on fracture network monitoring. Here the focus is on the use of DAS as an injection monitoring tool, a strain meter and as a microseismic sensor to assess the development of unconventional resources. The final set of applications included in this session are those that take advantage of fibers on the surface or on the ocean floor that are intended for other telecommunication uses. Taking advantage of these dark fibers it is shown how researchers are using DAS for near surface geophysics studies using surface waves, traditional earthquake seismology with long and dense receiver apertures, as well as sensing of the oceans. Special emphasis throughout this session is put on the specific technological advantages that DAS presents over other available technologies while providing great flexibility in its deployment.

Panel Topics

  • Rayleigh DAS Strain vs Strain Rate IU; Brillouin DSS – Discussion on Different Types of IU’s Multiphysics With DS: Strain, Temperature, Seismics, DAS and Geophones
  • Basics of Fiber Optic – Enhanced Fibers and DAS
  • Deployment Methods – Seismic Modeling of DAS and Field QC
  • 4DVSP Applications – Waterflood and Production Monitoring (Offshore); CO2 Storage Monitoring (Land)
  • DAS for Fracture Monitoring: Strain From Fractures and Near Field Injection Monitoring
  • DAS Microseismic – Single and Multifiber DAS Analysis for Microseismic
  • Earthquake Monitoring
  • Near Surface Geophysics – Surface Wave Analysis and Shallow Subsurface
  • Ocean Bottom Fiber Sensing

Session Chairs

Andres Chavarria
OptaSense Oilfield Services
Ge Jin
Colorado School of Mines


Mahmoud Farhadirushan

Mahmoud has over 35 years experience in optical fibre sensing research, development and commercialisation. He founded Silixa in 2007 and he is currently Executive Director. Prior to Silixa, he founded Sensornet (1998 -2009).

Mahmoud worked as a Senior Research Fellow on non-linear fiber optic sensors at King’s College London from 1994 to1998. During this period he successfully managed and completed one of the most successful European project.

From 1990 to 1994, he initiated and manged a Joint Industrial Project (JIP) in fibre optic sensing for oil and gas applications that led to the formation of Sensor Dynamics which was then acquired by Schlumberger in 2001.

From 1986 to 1990 he was a Research Fellow at University College London working on fibre optic sensors and integrated photonics devices.

He was a Joint winner of Metrology Award in 2000, British Telecom Award in 2001, Institute of Physics Innovation Award in 2015, and The Queen’s Award 2021 for Innovation on the behalf of Silixa.

Eileen Martin
Virginia Tech

Eileen Martin is an assistant professor at Virginia Tech in the math department and program in computational modeling and data analytics. She is a Luther and Alice Hamlett Junior Faculty Fellow in Virginia Tech’s Academy of Integrated Science, and earned a CAREER grant from NSF's Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. She is also affiliated with Colorado School of Mines Department of Geophysics and Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. She earned her PhD from the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering, and her MS in Geophysics, both from Stanford, and a BS with a double-major in math and computational physics from UT-Austin.

Gustavo Ugueto
Fiber Optic Regional Development coordinator, Shell

Gustavo Ugueto is Shell’s Fiber Optic Regional Deployment coordinator for the Americas and Principal Petrophysicist for Shell’s Unconventional Technology Organization. In 1982, he received a degree in Geological Engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela. Gustavo began his career as Petrophysical Engineer at Petroleos de Venezuela in 1981, later joining Shell International in 1988 where he has worked as Petrophysical Engineer, Section Head of Petrophysics and Discipline Head of Petrophysics in The Hague, London, Nigeria and Brunei respectively. He transferred to Shell in the USA in 1997 where he worked in several exploration and development projects in the Shelf and in Deep Water Gulf of Mexico (Auger and Mars-Ursa Basin). Starting in 2005 he began his works on the development of Unconventional Tight Gas Sands and Shales Reservoirs as a lead Petrophysicist, Assets Technology Coordinator and Geoscience Advisor for multiple exploration and development assets in the US-Rockies, including Pinedale. During this time, he led multiple efforts aimed at the integration of frac-diagnostics and modeling and has participated in the installation and interpretation in most of Shell’s Fiber Optic deployments in Unconventionals (about 50 wells). In 2010, he became Shell’s Global Principal Technical Expert (PTE) for Data Acquisition and Special Processing within Petrophysics. He is currently the Focal Point for Frac Diagnostics within Unconventionals, concentrating on Fiber Optic development and data integration. Throughout his career Gustavo Ugueto has participated in several projects involving collaboration between academia and industry. He participated as industry advisor in the USGS/Stanford University San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD). He led the instrumentation and Fiber Optic interpretation of wells in GTI Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site #2 Consortium in the Permian Delaware Basin and more recently he is co-Pi in a University of Texas Austin project in the EGS FORGE in Utah.

Steve Cole
Manager, Integrated Analysis, OptaSense

Steve Cole is Manager of Integrated Analysis for OptaSense, and is based in Brea, California. At OptaSense, he works on application of DAS fiber optics to areas such as microseismic, near-surface analysis, and earthquake monitoring. He received his PhD in geophysics from Stanford in and his SB in physics from MIT. He was one of the founders of 4th Wave Imaging, a service company specializing in time-lapse seismic, which was acquired by Fugro. During his career he has also worked for SR2020, Chevron, and Western Geophysical. He is a member of SEG, EAGE and AGU.

Andres Chavarria
Technical Director, OptaSense Oilfield Services

Andres Chavarria is OptaSense’s Oilfield Services Technical Director. His current focus is the use of distributed sensing fiber optic data for engineering and geoscience applications.

He has a background on borehole seismology (MS and VSP) and was previously the Geophysical Processing Manager at OptaSense, SR2020 and Paulsson. He has conducted work in other areas of geophysics including geothermal, mining and groundwater. He holds an Engineering Degree on Geophysics from the National University of Mexico and a PhD Degree on Geophysics from Duke University.

Ge Jin
Asst. Professor, Colorado School of Mines

Dr. Ge Jin is Assistant Professor of Geophysics and Co-director of the Reservoir Characterization Project at Colorado School of Mines (CSM). He is interested in Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensing (DFOS) and machine-learning applications in the oil industry, as well as seismic imaging and interpretation. He worked as a research geophysicist in the industry for 5 years before joining CSM. He initiated and developed several important DFOS applications for unconventional reservoir characterization, including low-frequency DAS strain monitoring, DAS-based microseismic imaging, DFOS-based production logging, tube-wave analysis, and reservoir guided wave analysis. Dr. Jin obtained his Ph.D. in Geophysics from Columbia University in the City of New York, and dual B.S. in Geophysics and Computer Science from Peking University.

Samantha Grandi Karam
Senior Research Geophysicist, Shell

Samantha Grandi Karam is a Senior Research Geophysicist at Shell working on R&D and deployment projects for Reservoir and CCS Surveillance since 2008. She has been a contributor to the development of distributed fibre-optic sensing, induced seismicity monitoring, and 4D seismic technologies. She has a M.Sc. and a PhD in Geophysics from MIT.


An Introduction to DAS: Using Fiber Optics for Geoscience Applications
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St
Denver, Colorado 80202
United States

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