As the race continues to unearth the ideal methodologies and practices to maximize hydrocarbon recovery, microseismic data is an evolving technology that services this necessity.
Microseismic, or more specifically microseismic data, is acquired through induced seismicity, defined as the generation of earthquakes and tremors from the input of human activity. By recording, processing and interpreting the microseismic “events” that are produced as a hydraulic fracturing treatment progresses, it is possible to gain a more robust insight into the complex processes encompassing well stimulation.
But what are these “events” and what kind of information can you derive from them? Each event represents a small microearthquake generated from the hydraulic stimulation, and the information stored within that event can be utilized in tandem with other events as well as treatment data to comprehensively evaluate the success or failings of a well stimulation program. Figure 1 shows the locations of seismic events induced by a multi-stage fracture stimulation.
Processing and analytics can be performed with microseismic data to understand the nature of deformation occurring as the fracture propagates through the formation. This permits the mapping of discrete fracture networks, providing a better understanding of how in situ stress conditions vary across a well lateral. This insight aids in optimally orienting horizontal wells and in designing optimal frac designs.
FIGURE 1 | Schematic of Microseismic Data
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