Microseismic monitoring is helping reservoir engineers plan and execute more effective stimulations to maximize recovery. Over the past two decades, innovations in surface array and downhole geophone technologies—combined with algorithms that filter “noise” from sources such as pumping and surface operations—have improved the accuracy of locating and characterizing microseismic events. As a result, reservoir engineers can create grids that more accurately depict fracture height, extent, azimuth, asymmetry, and dip and use this insight to further improve fracture/stimulation strategies and field development.
Maximize the Value of Microseismic Monitoring Data
The value of microseismic monitoring data that depict discrete fracture networks increases when combined with other relevant data that characterize reservoir conditions. By combining and visualizing microseismic data with geologic formations, stratigraphy, cellular properties, existing wells, production data, and monitoring wells, reservoir engineers gain a more complete understanding of reservoir heterogeneity to help in the planning stimulation strategies and provide a more accurate assessment of their effectiveness. The integration and visualization of data associated with microseismic monitoring allow engineers to analyze and learn from previous fracking activities, monitor stage-by-stage fracking processes, and assess the effectiveness of stimulations over time.
Analyze and Learn From Previous Stimulation Activities
Reservoir engineers can assess the results of previous stimulation activities in context of the factors that influence the outcomes. They can then apply those learnings to determine the best strategies for similar subsurface conditions, determining what methods were most effective and avoiding methods that failed. This approach:
- provides an accurate picture of how a reservoir has responded to specific hydraulic fracturing strategies
- facilitates quick comparison of the effectiveness of different fracture treatments and correlation of results with geologic and petrophysical attributes
- helps determine ideal well spacing for additional wells in the reservoir to improve fracture coverage
With access to detailed geologic, microseismic, and production data from nearby wells or reservoirs with similar characteristics a reservoir team can avoid treatments that failed to produce desired results and focus on those that effectively boosted production.
Microseismic Monitoring Stage-By-Stage
During the fracturing process, near-real-time microseismic monitoring gives completion engineers greater control over the process, allowing them to evaluate the effectiveness of the stimulations—stage-by-stage.
Microseismic data acquired during the course of a fracking stage and visualized in the context of detailed geologic conditions, gives engineers greater control over the process, allowing them to:
- Understand the magnitude and coverage of each event and, if necessary, modify subsequent treatments to optimize coverage.
- Develop a clearer picture of stress directions as each stage is completed.
- Determine if the frac extension stayed within the pay zone or encroached on a nearby producing well.
- Adjust stimulation methods for subsequent stages to compensate for changes in geologic or petrophysical properties—for example, the transition from brittle to ductile strata.
- Update wellbore productivity and ultimate recovery estimates after each completion.
Near-real-time microseismic monitoring and visualization of results have become an essential technique for completion engineers. The ability to analyze the effectiveness of fracture treatments as they are completed enables engineers to fine-tune successive fracture treatments.
Analyze Reservoir Stimulations Over Time
Reservoir engineers gain an even better understanding of the effects of reservoir stimulation strategies when the results can be animated over time (4D). A set of temporal scattered data files generated through microseismic monitoring and integrated with other relevant subsurface data can show the development of a single frac stage, depict successive frac stages, or animate the results of fracturing processes that have taken place over years.
Measure the Effectiveness of Reservoir Stimulations Using CoViz 4D
All of the capabilities mentioned above—integration of a wide range of reservoir data types, including microseismic monitoring data, visualization of data in 3D environment, and the ability to animate temporal data, are available in CoViz 4D. With five decades of experience in developing software solutions for the petroleum industry, Dynamic Graphics, Inc. understands the needs of petroleum professionals to obtain the greatest value from their data to maximize recovery. CoViz 4D enhances the value of subsurface data and enables a more detailed understanding of the effectiveness of past and current stimulation strategies.
In particular, CoViz 4D excels in quickly updating an earth model with near-real-time data to reflect the results of the most recent frac stage.
In particular, CoViz 4D excels in quickly updating an earth model with near-real-time data to reflect the results of the most recent frac stage. With this level of microseismic monitoring, engineers can quickly determine the effectiveness of the chosen stimulation method, gain a better understanding of principal stress directions, and modify subsequent stage stimulations as needed.