Using 3D Visualization of Hydraulic Fracturing in Unconventional Reservoirs to Maximize Recovery

Oil drilling pipeline.

Visualization and analysis of previous fracturing operations in adjacent wells can help guide planning and development of infill drilling and in new unconventional reservoirs. CoViz 4D offers the ability for asset teams to integrate, visualize and analyze relevant data to reduce cost and risk, and maximize hydrocarbon recovery.

Hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs is not yet a perfected science, but reservoir engineering teams can benefit from information regarding previous hydraulic fracturing efforts to improve the planning and development of new unconventional reservoirs. Advanced software tools allow engineering teams to easily combine all relevant data associated with reservoir development, including seismic surveys, core samples, simulation grids, well trajectories, microseismic surveys taken during fracking, production data, and decline curves.

Once combined, these data can then be visualized as detailed 3D models of reservoir conditions and analyzed collectively by the reservoir team to see how individual factors influence hydraulic fracturing efficiency and effectiveness. With the ability to integrate, visualize, and analyze relevant reservoir data, engineering teams learn from past hydraulic fracturing results, apply that insight when planning new unconventional wells, and monitor frac operations to maximize hydrocarbon recovery.

Learn From Analysis of Previous Hydraulic Fracturing Efforts in Unconventional Reservoirs

Operators have already acquired volumes of data associated with the development and production of unconventional reservoirs. These data provided detailed insight into a specific aspect of the reservoir, meaningful to the petroleum specialists that acquired or generated the data. Any individual data set takes on added value viewed and analyzed in the context of other reservoir data. By reviewing the results of previous hydraulic fracturing efforts in unconventional reservoirs, geologists, geophysicists, drilling, and completion engineers can more easily:

  • Estimate EUR based on production data and decline curves from nearby wells or wells with similar geology
  • Evaluate reservoir properties—lithology, stress orientation, porosity—have guided frac strategy in existing wells
  • Review stimulation methods—number and length of frac stages, proppants, chemicals—with rock properties and production data
  • Identify well spacing strategies that have maximized drainage

These and many other insights revealed through visualization and analysis of hydraulic fracturing data acquired throughout the life of a reservoir can then be applied in the planning and development of new unconventional reservoirs. With this approach, reservoir engineers reduce planning time, avoid frac strategies that didn’t pay off, and collaboratively reach the best possible development decisions informed by data.

Monitor the Hydraulic Fracturing Process

Software tools that have the ability to integrate a wide range of subsurface data sources also allow completion engineers to monitor the hydraulic fracturing process, determine the effectiveness of the technique at each stage, and make modifications, if necessary, to take maximum advantage of a reservoir’s stress regime.

During the hydraulic fracturing process geophones in observation wells monitor induced seismicity. The location and extent of developing fractures detected by the geophones can then be incorporated into the 3D models to show completion engineers the progress of the hydraulic fracturing activity.

Monitoring the developing fracture network in near-real-time allows engineers to see how far a fracture network is reaching, determine if fracs are encroaching on an adjacent well, and at the end of the frac process, provide a detailed 3D picture of the completed fracture network.

At the conclusion of the frac process, the entire process can be animated using the time-steps (4D) associated with microseismic data to show how the discrete fracture network developed, stage by stage. Reservoir engineers can apply insight from this animation to further enhance frac strategies to maximize recovery.

Microseismic visualization in CoViz 4D.

Animate the frac process, stage by stage, to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the method and the extent of the discrete fracture network.

CoViz 4D: Essential Capabilities for Hydraulic Fracturing in Unconventional Reservoirs

Operators worldwide have been using CoViz 4D to improve nearly every aspect of their hydraulic fracturing activities. The ability for CoViz 4D to easily integrate a wide range of discipline-specific data sets and visualize these data in a 3D environment gives reservoir teams unprecedented insight into the relationships among geological and petrophysical properties. As reservoirs are developed, details regarding well locations and trajectories, completion methods, and production data are incorporated into the 3D model to help reservoir teams understand how development decisions influence production.

The ability for CoViz 4D to easily integrate a wide range of discipline-specific data sets and visualize these data in a 3D environment gives reservoir teams unprecedented insight into the relationships among geological and petrophysical properties.

The level of understanding provided by CoViz 4D gives reservoir teams greater confidence in planning and executing hydraulic fracturing strategies in the following ways:

  • Increase the level of confidence in planning hydraulic fracturing for a new well.
  • Learn how hydraulic fracturing activities in nearby wells or wells with similar geologic characteristics have affected production.
  • Analyze the results of fracking stages to assess their effectiveness and make modifications in subsequent stages to optimize the fracture network and maximize recovery.
  • time-step data (4D) to show the reservoir’s evolution and response over time to the hydraulic fracturing activities.

CoViz 4D has become an essential tool for engineers focused on hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs. With CoViz 4D, engineering teams leverage the wealth of existing reservoir data regarding development and production, facilitate more efficient analysis and planning, and employ methods that have proven to maximize recovery.

CoViz 4D, a data visualization analytics software from Dynamic Graphics, Inc., gives oil and gas professionals the ability to easily access and combine all relevant data associated with unconventional reservoirs. Powerful visualization capabilities enable you to explore data relationships, calculate and show inferred data, and analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of frac methods, allowing your team to confidently make development decisions that positively impact profit and reduce operational risk. To learn more about CoViz 4D contact our team.


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