Microseismic Monitoring: Measuring the Effectiveness of Reservoir Stimulation

Microseismic events plotted along with the reservoir grid with production and seismic data for context.

Microseismic events plotted along with the reservoir grid with production and seismic data for context. By combining these data, CoViz 4D can aid in the understanding of reservoir heterogeneity and fracture systems.

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 help delineate discrete fracture networks increases when combined with other relevant data that characterize reservoir conditions. By combining and visualizing microseismic data with stratigraphy, lithology, cellular properties, existing wells, production data, and monitoring wells, in DGI’s CoViz 4D asset teams gain a more complete understanding of reservoir heterogeneity. The co-visualization of these data enhances the planning of future stimulation strategies and provides a more accurate assessment of their effectiveness. The integration and visualization of historical data associated with microseismic monitoring allow engineers to analyze and learn from previous fracking activities, monitor stage-by-stage fracking, and assess the effectiveness of reservoir simulations over time.

Analyze and Learn From Previous Stimulation Activities

With CoViz 4D reservoir engineers can visually assess the results of previous stimulation activities in context of the geologic and reservoir factors that influence the outcomes. They can then apply those learnings to determine the best strategies for similar subsurface conditions, determining and focusing on treatments that were the 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

Visual Microseismic Monitoring Stage-By-Stage

During the fracturing process, near-real-time microseismic monitoring In CoViz 4D 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.
Analyze the effectiveness of stimulation methods 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 of each event and coverage of all events in each stage
  • 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 the reservoir response.
  • 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 in CoViz 4D enables engineers to efficiently fine-tune successive fracture treatments.

Analyze Reservoir Simulations Over Time

Reservoir engineers gain an even better understanding of the effects of reservoir stimulation strategies when the results can be animated over time in CoViz 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. 

Microseismic monitoring within a shale formation over time (4D) depicting successive hydraulic fracturing stages.

Microseismic monitoring within a shale formation over time (4D) depicting successive hydraulic fracturing stages.

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. 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.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., integrates hydraulic fracturing data with geological, petrophysical, and other relevant reservoir data to present the microseismic data in its true geologic context. With this level of microseismic monitoring, engineers can more readily plan, execute, and evaluate reservoir stimulation methods. Contact our team to learn how CoViz 4D can enhance reservoir stimulation effectiveness.

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