Engineering Applications of Microseismic Fracture Images
With high-fidelity acquisition, accurate processing, and robust interpretation of quality microseismic data, a number of specific engineering applications can be addressed with a well-planned microseismic project. Indeed, the rapid expansion of microseismic monitoring of hydraulic fractures is related to engineers defining workflows to improve hydraulic fracturing but needing a means to track the fracture growth. Understanding and visualizing the hydraulic-fracture growth and the factors that impact fracture variability are important for effective stimulations and reservoir drainage. For a viable unconventional reservoir, however, there must be adequate reservoir quality in addition to an effective completion-stimulation design to create a wellbore hydraulic-fracture system that can drain the reservoir effectively. The reservoir obviously must bear hydrocarbons that can be tapped into using a series of wells and accompanying hydraulic-fracture stimulations, which are impacted by the geomechanical conditions of the reservoir. Wireline logs, core sampling, and seismic can be used to investigate the reservoir, but microseismic provides key insight into the hydraulic-fracture response. In low-permeability reservoirs, if the potential reservoir is not connected to a hydraulic-fracture network, it will not contribute significantly to well performance. Therefore, imaging the hydraulic fracture is fundamental to understanding the performance of an unconventional reservoir and is a critical component of reservoir appraisal.