Itasca has been involved in the real-time monitoring, post-processing and quality assurance of enhanced oil recovery projects using single and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. Experience in the field includes a wide variety of completions, acquisition geometries and treatments, and employing novel processing techniques where necessary to improve the quality of information fed back to oil and gas reservoir stimulation design. As part of these services to the energy sector, Itasca runs a research and development program which has produced the development of advanced algorithms to locate seismic sources using geometrically limited arrays (such as geophone strings in a single borehole) and under low signal-to-noise conditions using wave polarization analysis, point-to-point raytracing, wavefront construction, and advanced filters for signal processing.
MS monitoring is now becoming a standard tool for evaluating the geometry and evolution of the fracture network induced during a given treatment, principally by locating hypocentres and visualizing these with respect to the treatment volume and infrastructure. The combination of microseismic monitoring and analysis with state-of-the-art geomechanical simulations offers a unique and powerful method of understanding in-situ rock mass behavior. The modeling allows predictions of the rock response to be made based on the properties obtained from laboratory experiments. The microseismic data is then collected in the field to validate the model. Appropriate refinements are made to the model to provide a realistic interpretation of the true behavior. This combination is essential for the concept of fracture network engineering (FNE) which involves the design, analysis, modeling, and monitoring of infield activities aimed at enhancing or minimizing rock mass disturbance. Itasca’s full integrated microseismic processing service provides:
- real-time processing of microseismic data to provide feed-back of information to engineers on the position, growth, and effectiveness of a hydraulic fracture simulation, and mapping extraction and injection paths in a producing field;
- real-time imaging of the position, growth, and effectiveness of hydraulic fracture stimulation to assess completion objectives;
- post-processing of MS data for a greater understanding of the treatment history and fluid migration (analysis of microseismic parameters and clustering yields treatment hot zones and provides for an assessment of the completion objectives);
- alarm system for customized magnitude and rate thresholds;
- full integrated processing service from array design, through data management, processing and reporting to advanced interpretations with dynamic numerical models to better understand the growth and activation of the fracture structures;
- advanced analysis of microseismic data, yielding information on fracture networks (such as distribution, persistence and orientations) that describes the mechanisms behind the fracture growth, leading to a better understanding of reservoir behavior;
- site and regional seismic characterization;
- design and optimization of monitoring arrays;
- quality control of acquisition settings and microseismic dataset; and
- microseismic processing software with full training and support.