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Understanding hydraulic fracture effectiveness

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Oilfield Technology,

ESG Solutions, a microseismic technology and services company, successfully conducted multiple hydraulic fracture monitoring projects within North America using its patented Hybrid™ Seismic Sensor Network.  The innovative approach integrates traditional downhole microseismic with surface and near-surface based induced seismicity (IS) arrays to accurately evaluate large and small-scale seismicity in one comprehensive system. Operators benefit from improved insight into fracture development with minimal added cost to the microseismic programme.

Microseismic monitoring effectively measures small-scale micro-earthquakes during hydraulic fracturing; however typical microseismic geophones are not optimal for detecting larger magnitude induced seismicity. The Hybrid solution deploys low frequency sensors in near-surface arrays to accurately capture large magnitude events, and integrates the results with time-synchronised downhole microseismic data. This unique approach builds on ESG's capabilities in advanced microseismic analysis and provides operators with new information about fault activation and fracture effectiveness.

Correctly measuring seismic events using the right equipment is critical to gaining meaningful interpretation of seismicity, particularly for operators who rely on microseismic data to design future stimulation programmes. "Accurate measurement of larger events allows clients to correctly assess the role of faults when interpreting fracture behaviour and reservoir deformation," says Dr. Ted Urbancic, Executive Vice President of Energy Services at ESG Solutions. "Larger events release more energy into the reservoir. In multiple cases, we have seen a handful of these larger events representing as much as 70% of the total seismic energy released over the stimulation programme. This has a profound effect on the way operators evaluate their treatments and presents a unique view of hydraulic fracture stimulations not previously considered."

Demand for these solutions is growing rapidly as operators recognise the benefits of deploying a combination of seismic sensors in their fracture monitoring operations.  "It is now standard practice for ESG to offer an integrated solution to our clients to ensure that they receive the maximum value from their monitoring program," says Urbancic.  Hybrid Seismic Networks have been deployed throughout North America and the Middle East to monitor applications such as hydraulic fracturing, steam injection, hydrocarbon storage and water flooding and forecasts increasing demand for these configurations over the coming year.

Edited from a press release by David Bizley

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