Microseismic monitoring of the B-sand hydraulic fracture experiment at the DOE/GRI multi-site project Page: 1 of 10
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SPE Paper Number 36450
Society of Petroleum Engineers
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Microseismic Monitoring of the B-Sand Hydraulic Fracture Experiment at the DOE/GRI
N.R. Warpinski, SPE, Sandia Natl. Labs, and T.B. Wright, SPE, Resources Engineering Systems, and J.E. Uhl, B.P.
Engler, and P.M. Drozda, Sandia Natl. Labs, and R.E. Peterson, SPE, and P.T. Branagan, SPE, Branagan & Assoc.
copyright 1996, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc.
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 1996 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition held In Denver, Colorado, U.SA., 6-9 October 1996.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program committee following review of
Information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
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acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O.
Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-214-952-9435.
Six hydraulic-fracture injections into a fluvial sandstone at a
depth of 4500 ft were monitored with multi-level triaxial
seismic receivers in two wells, resulting in maps of the growth
and final geometry of each fracture based upon microseismic
activity. These diagnostic images show that the hydraulic
fractures are highly contained for smaller-volume KCl-water
injections, but height growth is significant for the larger-
volume, higher-rate, higher-viscosity treatments. Fracture
lengths for most injections are similar. Final results are also
compared with fracture models.
The imaging of hydraulic fractures at depth has been a long-
sought goal of the petroleum industry. Fracturing is an
expensive, yet essential, element of production for many gas
reservoirs and has significantly improved economics for many
oil reservoirs as well. The Gas Research Institute and the US
Department of Energy have long funded diagnostics programs
and have achieved a slow but steady progress toward the
realization of such technology. Fracture imaging is now
attainable due to the improved capabilities of advanced
receiver technology, advanced telemetry, and portable high-
power computing. It is only characteristics of the reservoir
and the well configurations which limit the potential of the
technique. This paper describes the results of a series of
fracturing experiments in a single reservoir interval that
demonstrates the capabilities of this technology and its value
DISTRIBUTiON OF THIS WPiMkrET j$ VNUMIT'
to related issues of modeling and fundamental model
Fracture diagnostics have a long history that includes
production history matching, post-frac well testing,
radioactive tracers, temperature logs, pressure decline
analysis, treatment pressure analysis and modeling, surface
tiltmeters, surface electromagnetic techniques, and various
seismic techniques. All of these diagnostics are indirect, in
the sense that they measure some parameter associated with
the hydraulic fracture and infer fracture characteristics from
the parameter or its changes. As with most indirect
techniques, problems with uniqueness and inversion abound.
One of these techniques is different, however, and is
capable of producing a highly accurate image of the fracture
without the processing difficulties inherent in inversion
problems. The microseismic method,'- one of several seismic
technologies, is an indirect technique in that it monitors small
faults or slippages that occur in the vicinity of the fracture
(rather than the fracture itself), but is fully capable of
producing an image of these microearthquakes. With proper
interpretation models for the reservoir under consideration, the
relation of the microseisms to the fracture can be clearly
established. More importantly, for reservoirs with highly
compressible fluids (e.g., gas reservoirs), the envelope of
microseisms is approximately the same as the fracture size,
with the exception of the width. Thus the microseismic
method can produce relatively accurate images of the fracture
length, height, and azimuth.
The microseismic technique is the primary diagnostic
method employed to monitorfractures at the M-Site. It builds
upon a technology proven in several elaborate field
experiments," but with a focus of developing a viable,
wireline-run, fracture-diagnostic service. As such, validation
is an essential element of building confidence in this
technology, and the M-Site experiments have been designed
to provide that validation, particularly through the application
of downhole inclinometers and intersecting wells.
This work was supported by the United
States Department of Energy under
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Warpinski, N. R.; Wright, T. B.; Peterson, R. E. & Branagan, P. T. Microseismic monitoring of the B-sand hydraulic fracture experiment at the DOE/GRI multi-site project, article, November 1996; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc678891/m1/1/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.