From Microseismic to Induced Seismicity: Monitoring the Full Band of Reservoir Seismicity

Bosman, Katherine (Engineering Seismology Group Canada Inc.) | Preiksaitis, Mike (Engineering Seismology Group Canada Inc.) | Baig, Adam (Engineering Seismology Group Canada Inc.) | Urbancic, Ted (Engineering Seismology Group Canada Inc.)


Summary Seismic monitoring is an important tool for evaluating hydraulic fracture treatments in many petroleum reservoirs. Microseismic data is used to determine the extent of fracturing due to treatment and evaluate how effectively the reservoir is stimulated. Induced seismicity monitoring has become important recently, as the occurrence of high magnitude (MW > 0) events in several locations has led to the introduction of government-mandated "traffic light" systems to mitigate the impact of induced seismicity on the general public. To better understand the reservoir conditions which lead to the generation of large events, these two different ways of measuring seismic activity can be combined, incorporating the highly accurate event location accuracy from downhole microseismic monitoring with accurate source characterization of high magnitude events from surface induced seismicity monitoring. Such a monitoring system allows the full range of seismicity related to hydraulic fracture treatments to be accurately characterized. Combining the recorded data is a technical challenge, but with attention to detail in applying relevant corrections it is possible to achieve a consistent dataset. Data from a large multi-well zipper frac employing the fullband monitoring configuration is discussed in detail to illustrate the benefits of an integrated processing workflow in terms of increased understanding of the fracture process and conditions which lead to high magnitude events. Introduction In recent years, the occurrence of large (M > 0) induced triggered seismic events during hydraulic fracture treatments of petroleum reservoirs has become a significant concern. Such events have been observed to occur both within reservoirs and in the surrounding formations, with different implications for reservoir development. Several jurisdictions have regulated "traffic light" systems in response to induced seismicity to minimize or eliminate the impact on infrastructure and the general public, such as the new requirements imposed by the government of Alberta in the Fox Creek area (AER, 2015). Seismic monitoring systems used to address these reporting requirements are typically surface installations aimed solely at recording high magnitude events (MW > 0). Instruments are chosen specifically to provide good source characterization for such events. For this purpose, such systems are adequate to satisfy regulatory requirements. However, they provide little understanding of the actual processes occurring in the reservoir which lead to the generation of large microseismic events.

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