Microseismic-Fracture Monitoring with Accurate Answers in Real Time

Date: 03/30/2009

Because of the unique demands of the unconventional Barnett shale, operators drilling in this tight-gas reservoir need real-time information to optimize stimulation treatments and improve recovery. Chesapeake Energy, a major operator in the area, wanted to place hydraulic fractures transverse to the horizontal well to maximize contact with the reservoir.

Using real-time microseismic monitoring and coalescence microseismic mapping, Chesapeake engineers observed what they believed to be cross communication between stages 1 and 2. During stage 2, engineers on location noted that bottomhole treating pressures matched those of stage 1, reinforcing their assessment.

As a remedy, three proppant slugs were pumped at a reduced rate to divert away from the perforations that were taking most of the treatment.

Chesapeake used the StimMAP LIVE Microseismic Fracture Monitoring Service to map the hydraulic fractures as they were created, receiving data while the fracture treatment was being pumped, with less than 30 s lag time.

"We're able to map the propagation of the fractures," said Schlumberger production and stimulation engineer, Barry Dean, of his experience with a recent fracturing treatment for another operator in the Arkoma basin. "This keeps us from wasting time and money trying to fracture a zone that's in communication with an adjacent zone. There are isolation issues, and, without StimMAP LIVE monitoring data, you might be treating a zone and find that all the treatment is going into the next zone."

Read the complete article in Oilfield Review Winter 2005. Clients are invited to register as premium content users to access recent articles in Oilfield Review.


Bennett, L. et al., "The Source for Hydraulic Fracture Characterization," Oilfield Review (Winter 2005/2006) 17, No. 4, 42-57.

Drew, J., Leslie, D. Armstrong, P., and Michaud, G: "Automated Microseismic Event Detection and Location by Continuous Spatial Mapping," paper SPE 95513 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, USA (October 9-12, 2005).

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