Hydraulic fracture monitoring with microseismic mapping is now routinely used to measure hydraulic fracture geometry, location, and complexity, providing an abundance of information that can be essential to optimizing stimulation treatments and well completions. Although microseismic mapping has added significant value in many different environments, we have yet to fully utilize microseismic data. Significant details can be extracted from microseismic measurements that, when integrated with other information, can improve the characterization of both the reservoir and the hydraulic fracture. In addition, microseismic data has yet to be quantitatively and routinely utilized in reservoir simulation, which is the key to optimization.
Geological and geophysical data and wellbore logs can be combined with newly-developed complex fracture propagation models and reservoir simulation models. These models are calibrated using microseismic measurements and production data—closing the loop from microseismic mapping to simulation. The combination of microseismic measurements and complex fracture modeling with sophisticated geological descriptions of pre-existing natural fractures can be used to evaluate existing and predict future well performance in complex shale-gas reservoirs. The application of calibrated complex hydraulic fracture and reservoir simulation models provides more reliable forecasts of well performance resulting from various hydraulic fracture designs and completion scenarios, allowing the selection of the most economic strategy.
The optimization process includes a detailed workflow to efficiently integrate the large amount of information and modeling results into a coherent work product. This includes the integration of advanced processing and geomechanical interpretations of microseismic data with newly developed complex hydraulic fracture models that significantly improve the application of microseismic measurements. An example illustrates how HFM can be taken from event locations to production forecasts, showing how the capability to integrate geophysics, geomechanics, hydraulic fracture mechanics, and reservoir simulation can result in significant economic benefits.