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Microseismicity monitoring in oil or gas reservoir

MSc. Leo Eisner, Ph.D., Purkyn Fellow at the Institute of Rock Mechanics and Structure, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

Instructors Background
Born in 1970, Prague, Czech Republic (CR), married, 1 child 1994: MSc. in Ray theory at Charles University, Prague, CR 2001: Ph.D. at Caltech on finite difference modeling of earthquakes in L.A. Basin, Pasadena, USA 2001-2007: Senior scientist in Schlumberger Cambridge, Cambridge, UK: Borehole monitoring, EU project IMAGES 2008-2010: Microseismic Inc, Houston, USA: Chief Geophysicist from 2009, surface monitoring 2010-present: Purkyn Fellow at IRSM of ASCR, President of Seismik Lim, geophysical advisor for MSI, Prague, CR 17 peer-reviewed papers, 11 on MEQs, 23 EAGE/SEG/SPE abstracts, 10+ patents, AE for Geophysical Prospecting, 2 special issues on MEQs 2010, 2011

Outline
1. Microseismicity/Seismicity, induced, history, fracking 2. Location techniques for earthquakes 3. Source mechanisms of microseismic event 4. Anisotropy and microseismicity

Outline of the 1st lecture


Definition of microseismicity, dictionary Induced/triggered/tectonic earthquake Microseismicity outside of oil or gas industry: water reservoirs, mining, geothermal Historical review of oil or gas: M-site, Cotton Valley, Barnett, Brief intro into hydraulic fracturing

Definitions
Microseismic event = Microearthquake = Microtremor (= Microseism) Microearthquake an earthquake with magnitude smaller than 3 or more commonly used with magnitude smaller than 0 Microseism background elevated noise (or signal) at 0.3-10 Hz due to ocean waves Earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.

Definitions cont.
Induced (microseismic event) an event caused by a human activity that would not otherwise happen Triggered (microseismic event) an event initiated by human activity that would happen later in the time without human activity Tectonic event an event that has happened due to natural processes independent of human activity
Induced: breaking of a wood by bending, Rangeley (Rocky Mountains Arsenal, Colorado), 1966 Triggered: Basil earthquake 2009, energy released>energy input Tectonic: San Andreas earthquake, 1906

Reservoir induced seismicity

ISS international

Reservoir induced seismicity

River

Reservoir

River

Reservoir induced seismicity


Acu lake in Brazil
Magnitudes of the largest events ~2, ~1012 Nm. Activity started several months after filling up of the reservoir.

J. Tomic, et al. 2009, Geophys. J. Int.

Mining induced seismicity

ISS international Shallow (coal/tunnels) mine explosive environment due to methane Deep mine cavity closing, large events Block caving a very large fracturing Nuclear waste storage monitoring of rock mass integrity Dam walls

ISS international

Mining: deep/shallow mines

Mine (cross section)

Mine creates zone of weakness as overburden weight is not balanced by in the cavity. This zone can activate pre-existing faults or eventually create new fractures mainly above the mined area. Similar problem in tunneling industry. magnitudes < 3-5.

Mining: block caving, nuclear waste


Block caving: used for low concentration ore mining where whole block crashed and loaded. Microseismicity precedes block failure and is used to indicate when a block will collapse. Magnitudes: 3-4

http://www.infomine.com/

http://www.seismology.org/

Nuclear depository is usually made in an extremely stable rock and objective of the monitoring is to detect any fracture propagation that might have been induced by creating the depository. Very small magnitudes < -2,-1
http://www.seismology.org/

The most similar to oil and gas industry Not using any proppant, instead the traditional stimulation is shear stimulation that is aimed at creating hydraulic connection between injector and producer, illustration bellow shows connection between blue and red injector and producer:
side view Inline view

Geothermal

L. Dorbath, also in Dorbath et al, JGI, 2009

Geothermal
Started in early 80-ies (LANL) HRD evolved into EGS (i.e., Hot Dry Rock to Enhanced Geothermal System) Magnitudes similar to Oil and Gas, but some are much larger Basel, Switzerland, max magnitude 3.4 The Geysers, United States, max magnitude 4.6
Dyer et al, 2008, TLE

Geothermal: Basel shear stim


Pump rate

Well head pressure

Dyer et al, 2008, TLE

Induced seismicity, events are induced by injection and their magnitude and rate seems to be proportional to well head pressure

Oil and Gas historical review M-site, western Colorado


M stands for Multi: inclinometers in nearby borehole and two deviated wells intersecting the fracture 1992-1996: GRI and the U.S. DOE Piceance basin of western Colorado near the town of Rifle The first downhole monitoring with single array of geophones deployed in a vertical monitoring borehole Microseismic height was confirmed by tiltmeters and agreed to a few feet Microseismic locations were confirmed by deviated wells.

Historical review: M-site

Vertical containment of seismic events confirmed by tiltmeters Temporal evolution of microseismic events confirmed by intersected well sampling 1/8 of millisecond, recording 200 - 2000 Hz

Warpinski et.al., 1998, SPE proceedings,

Historical review: Cotton Valley, East Texas

shale
sand shale sand

Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics. Following success of microseismic monitoring at the M-site in summer 1997 a dual microseismic monitoring array was deployed, cemented at wells 21-09 and 22-09, sampling at 1 ms. Deployment at well 21-09 did not succeeded and majority of the receivers were dead.

Historical review: Cotton Valley

Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics. Data were however sampled at 1 ms resulting in rather coarse sampling of the high frequency data. Hence data were resampled in frequency domain to 0.2 ms, which allowed highly accurate Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics. picks at peak without the need to Relationship between number of induced events sample at high rate. and borehole pressure is not that similar to the EGS Basil stimulation differences are much shorter time, gels in fluids and proppant

Historical review: Cotton Valley


Initial picks and locations Relocated after resampling
Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics.

The only difference between figures above is picking of P and S-waves, no difference in model or location technique. While initial locations show rather large scatter and only cloud of microseismic events the repicked location show narrow fairway with less than 10 m width. This was a new understanding on the nature induced events left figure is diffused cloud around the fracture, right figure suggest direct connection with fracture. Conclusions: location accuracy drives the scatter in initial locations

Historical review: Cotton Valley


Radio-activity benchmark Perforations A-F Vertical cross-section
Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics.

The relocated events also allowed comparison of vertical containment as measured from radioactive proppant tag and event count in vertical bins. However, proppant tag measures distribution of radioactive material (injected fluid) at most about 1 m from the treatment well, while event count counts events 100s of meters away. This impacts discrepancy in perforation A at 2620 m depth, where probably a flow behind casing occurred. Also microseismic events were shifted several (2 and 4 m) to fit the tracer data as these shifts are easily explained by velocity model and receiver statics. Conclusions: microseismicity can reliably measure vertical containment of the hydraulic fracture in the formation, velocity error at least several meters.

Historical review: Cotton Valley


Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics.

Injection point

Injection point

The growth of microseismic events from injection well to distances of 300-400 m. note that microseismic events form a cloud of a certain width that is growing at variable rates without direct connection to treatment pressure or pump rates. The width of the moving cloud is more than 100 m. Note that some late events still occur close to injection interval. Conclusions: microseismic events do not occur only around fracture tip.

Historical review: Cotton Valley


Cumulative moment (and energy) released in seismic events is approximately proportional to cumulative injected volume (McGarr, 1976). For injections without encountering pre-existing tectonic stress the proportionality is constant (treatments A, C+D, and perhaps B),while when encountering pre-existing faults the seismic moment release is much higher as shown in treatment E. Dashed lines show theoretical expectation for average media parameters indicating the real release is much smaller unless tectonically enhanced. Conclusions: energy release is much smaller than energy injected and linearly dependent on the total volume unless pre-existing tectonic stress is encountered.

Rutledge et al., 2004, BSSA.

Historical review: Cotton Valley


Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics.

The microseismic events exhibited remarkable consistency from event to event as shown in the display of waveforms above, both in P-waves as well as in S-waves. Conclusions: microseismic events have probably very similar mechanisms.

Historical review: Cotton Valley


Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics.

Source mechanisms were constrained to be shear only and assumed to have the same mechanisms in two distinct groups: left-lateral and rightlateral strike slip. In addition they are shear. Problem: There is no shear stress on a plane oriented along SHmax, hence we need small deviation in strike from SHmax orientation. Conclusions: microseismic events are likely occurring on vertical planes aligned closely with SHmax. The mechanisms are consistent with shear failure.

Historical review: Cotton Valley

Rutledge et al., 2004, BSSA.

Small events can be detected only when near monitoring well, hence detection threshold probably cuts off western events except the most energetic ones. Most energetic events seems to be more favorable oriented to have shear failure. Conclusions: detection threshold strongly affects detection of events and may create artificial frac assymetry

Rutledge and Phillips, 2003, Geophysics.

Historical review: Cotton Valley

Rutledge et al., 2004, BSSA.

Resolution for events with fault planes close to SHmax: hydraulic fractures are aligned with SHmax but shear planes are not and they create a mesh as proposed in figure on right. Hydraulic fractures as small, hence undetectable by seismic but they load shear stress on shear planes of microseismic events. Conclusions: Event planes are slightly deviated from SHmax and create mesh connecting silent hydraulic fractures

Historical review: Barnett shale


Barnett production was steadily declining in 1990ies, however with the combination of cheaper horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing the declining trend was reversed and today Barnett is the 3rd largest gas field of the USA. Since then every major oil player has to have some stake in a shale play, even if they are not quite shales: Woodford (OK), Haynesville (TX-LA), Eagle Ford (TX), Marcellus (eastern USA), The main problem in Barnett was fracturing into underlying Ellenberger formation. Hence microseismic monitoring was mainly used to control vertical containment of the fracs.
2000 1800 1600

Texas Gas Well Gas Production in the Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field
1776 1612

Production in BCF

1400 1200 1000 1104

800
600 400 200 0 26 28 34 41 221 304 380 503

716

79

135

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

year

Historical review: Barnett


Vertical crossection Map view Fischer et al., 2004, SPE90051

Vertical containment in the stimulated lower Barnett shale is illustrated in left Figure showing mapped microseismic events induced by the horizontal well stimulation. The lower layer is Elenberger. Right Figure shows famous case where hydraulic stimulation of the well in the center (black dot) killed FIVE nearby wells on the edges of the mapped cloud indicating that microseismicity maps lower volume (subject to detection threshold).

Historical review: Cross-stage detection

Eisner et al. 2006 Vertical containment of the stimulated canyon sand formation can be detected by using the previously discussed feature of microseismic events: their similarity. Measure of similarity if crosscorrelation shown in right plot illustrating the overlap between stages 1, 2 and 3.

Historical review: Canyon sand


Fischer et al. 2008 New location technique based on S-wave allows location 10000+ events. The upper row shows vertical vs time evolution of event locations induced in 4 stimulations. Note the stair-case character due to seismicity being held by shale barriers. Lower plots show horizontal evolution of event locations with asymmetric growth to east, The speed of fracture growth is also asymetric 5 m/min to NE, 2.5 m/min to SW.

Historical review: surface monitoring


Duncan and Eisner, 2010

Since 2003 deployment of 1000+ surface geophones allows mapping of microseismic events with homogeneous detection threshold across several treatment wells. This mapping confirmed with definite asymmetry of the hydraulic fractures as illustrated in Figure on right side where some events occur 2000+ ft from the injection interval.
Figures provided by Microseismic Inc

Historical review: surface monitoring


Surface monitoring also allows determination of source mechanisms by mapping of the polarity of P-waves and inverting shear only and general (including tensile) source mechanisms. In this case a vertical fault plane is again aligned with SHmax as in the Cotton Valley case. Line 9 Line 1

Line 8

North

Line 2

Line 7

Line 3

Time (s)

Line 1

Line 2

Lines 3-7

Line 8

Line 9

Figures provided by Microseismic Inc

Future (?) review: Buried arrays


Deployment of geophone arrays to depths of ~100 m reduces the surface noise and allows consistent imaging of very large area with homogeneous coverage of all wells. Hence strategies can be compared between wells and stimulation programs etc.

5 miles

5 miles
Figure provided by Microseismic Inc

Hydraulic fracturing
Pumps Pond for produced water

Water storage

Figure provided by Microseismic Inc

Hydraulic fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing - (called "frac jobs," "frac'ing, "fracking, fraccing, or hydrofracking") is a process that results in the creation of fractures in rocks. The fracturing is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations to increase the rate and ultimate recovery of oil and natural gas. first used in oil and gas industry in 1947 first commercial use of hydraulic fracturing by Halliborton in 1949 Leakoff Loss of fracturing fluid from the fracture channel into the surrounding permeable rock. Fracturing fluid The fluid used during a hydraulic fracture treatment of oil, gas or water wells. The fracturing fluid has two major functions 1) Open and extend the fracture; 2) Transport the proppant along the fracture length. Proppant Suspended particles in the fracturing fluid that are used to hold fractures open after a hydraulic fracturing treatment, thus producing a conductive pathway that fluids can easily flow along. Naturally occurring sand grains or artificial ceramic material are common proppants used.

Hydraulic fracturing

Hydraulic fracture design

Formation test to find out leak-off

Fracking starts.

Usually the fluids are pumped to create pad that opens the formation.

End of pad, start Strategy of constant injecting proppant to keep fracture open after flow rate in this the pressure is released case results in decreasing pressure after the initial frac Figure provided by Microseismic Inc

Hydraulic fracturing
Geophysicist view
Impermeable layer (cap rock) Impermeable layer (cap rock)

Well

Well

Hydraulic fracturing
Real Fracture
Real hydraulic fractures seems to be mostly planar features. Picture shows a horizontal well that is cased and cemented, perforated, and fractured with dyed water. Although the mine back studies indicate rather complex surfaces interacting with pre-existing natural faults and fractures. Perhaps most surprising feature of this image are parallel fractures. The question remains if the hydraulic fracturing in greater depths and shales is as complex as this image in soft shallow sediments.

Mineback test in ash fall tuff at the Nevada Test Site, depth 1500 ft, side of mesa

Hydraulic fracturing
Net pressure Pressure difference between closure pressure and pressure that keeps the fracture open Fracture Gradient The pressure to fracture the formation at a particular depth divided by the depth. A fracture gradient of 18 kPa/m (0.8 psi/foot) implies that at a depth of 3 km (10,000 feet) a pressure of 54 MPa (8,000 psi) will extend a hydraulic fracture. ISIP - Instantaneous Shut In Pressure The pressure measured immediately after injection stops. The ISIP provides a measure of the pressure in the fracture at the wellbore by removing contributions from fluid friction. pc p pc Net pressure = p - pc p
Net pressure

p hg

ISIP (frac closure)


Leak off

time

General
2010 Haynesville, Marcellus, Woodford

Oil/Gas monitoring
Buried arrays, 2008

Barnett, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, ~ 1997-

2000
1990

Surface monitoring, 2003


Cotton Valley experiment, 1997 M-site experiment, 1992-1996

Los Alamos NL, Hot Dry Rocks Fenton hill, 1975-1990

1980
1970

Rangley, 1966 1960 1950 First hydraulic fracture 1947 1940