Hydraulic Fracturing Treatment Controls on Induced Microseismicity Attributes
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Hydraulic fracturing imposes stress changes in the treated rock through the injection of a mix of fluid and proppant at variable rates and can result in stimulated microseismicity (induced or triggered) with a wide range of magnitudes associated to the opening of new cracks or the mobilisation of pre-existing fractures. Optimizing the treatment is vital for the economic and sustainable development of hydrocarbon reservoir and for the minimization of potential environmental impacts. The analysis of the induced seismicity and of event parameters provide an estimate of the effect of the treatment and the extent of the changes in the rock reservoir properties affecting fluid conductivity. This gives critical feedback for the optimization of the treatment, especially during real-time monitoring. In this study, we correlate microseismic attributes such as the fracture dimensions, event distribution and b-values with the fluid treatment parameters such as the pumping pressure and the slurry rate across different reservoir treatments. Although the microseismic attributes are influenced by many different factors such as the reservoir elastic properties, the stress regime and in-situ fracturing, we consistently observed positive correlations between the slurry rate, plateau treatment pressure and the fracture dimensions. In addition, the variation and systematic deviation of b-value from the natural average of 1.0 gives an insight into the geomechanical behavior of the reservoir. Similar to b-value, another fractal dimension, D-value, indicates the fracture spatial propagation from linear advancement (D=1.0) to planar distribution (D=2.0) to full space occurrence (D=3.0). By merging microseismic events from multiple treatment stages, we statistically analyzed magnitude distribution and spatial and temporal structure of the microseismic cloud induced during the stimulation of a range of different reservoirs with a total population of ~20,000 MS events. Analysis on multiple treatment projects can provide a first order guidance on selecting optimal treatment parameters.