Integrating microseismic observations into geomechanical models

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Itasca Consulting Ltd's (ICL) unique workflow uses the observed microseismicity quantitatively, to inform and calibrate geomechanical modeling. Microseismic geomechanics enhances the understanding and value of monitoring data by integrating geomechanics into the interpretation, and increases confidence in geomechanical modeling by ensuring consistency with field diagnostics. Geomechanical models are constructed using rock properties and stresses computed from log measurements, and the attributes of the microseismic events can be used to construct a model DFN (orientation, density). Synthetic microseismicity calculated during simulation of hydraulic fracturing is compared to the field-observed microseismicity. Model parameters are adjusted, resulting in a calibrated model which can be used to gain insights into the sensitivity of fracture geometry to geomechanical parameters, and to investigate the effects of changes in completion design.

ForeSite: Prediction

Hydraulic fracture design and completions engineering is commonly based on extensions of models designed for single planar fractures.  In contrast, ICL's ForeSite workflow uses a fully 3-D geomechanical model to capture the important interactions between multiple hydraulic fractures in the same or nearby wells, and their interactions with natural fractures.  These effects are particularly important for stimulating infill wells, because fracturing and production from initial wells can significantly change the stresses, resulting in asymmetric fractures, frac hits in older wells, and inadequate stimulation of the reservoir.

With ForeSite, ICL builds a 3-D geomechanical model, which can be used to predict fracture geometry, proppant placement and the resulting microseismic cloud.  Injection parameters can be optimized to meet the goals of the hydraulic fracture treatment project including:

  • reservoir containment,
  • maximum reservoir contact
  • optimized cluster spacing
  • induced seismicity control

If a microseismic survey is planned, the selected optimized treatment plan and the corresponding synthetic microseismicity are used to develop the most favorable pre-survey array design.  Recording array configurations are chosen that provide the best location accuracy, magnitude sensitivity and stability of moment tensor inversions on the predicted microseismic cloud.

Prediction of the microseismic geomechanical response allows operators to optimize their monitoring arrays, avoid induced seismicity and optimize the hydraulic fracture treatment.


InSite: Monitoring

Gain confidence in your microseismic and seismicity monitoring results using InSite to view, process, QC, and interpret data.  InSite supports a variety of vendor data formats and is independent of the monitoring hardware used, allowing for an independent and impartial assessment of completions performance.

Advanced features such as velocity model construction, focal mechanism determination, and synthetic response modeling can enhance and support microseismic vendor interpretations and link results to geomechanical models.


HindSite: Validation

Field microseismic results are compared quantitatively with the synthetic microseismicity from the model, and the model. The model developed in the ForeSite process is updated to honor the field results, producing a validated geomechanical fracture model.  This validated microseismic geomechanical model can then be used to optimize the hydraulic fracture treatment and production of unconventional reservoirs.