For unconventional petroleum plays, the fracture network generally provides the primary pathway for fluid flow. As such, understanding the subsurface fracture network is vitally important in predicting future well performance. Moment tensor inversion of microseismic data recorded during hydraulic fracture stimulation provides the most complete cost-effective picture of the discrete fracture network in the reservoir after completion, giving an initial condition for reservoir model development. By applying advanced analysis techniques including evaluation of fracture spacing and network topology, the connectivity of the discrete fracture network can be characterized, improving our understanding of the reservoir and by extension the ability to accurately predict future reservoir behavior. This paper describes a methodology for discrete fracture network characterization using microseismic data, as illustrated with application to a case study.

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