Microseismic monitoring of multi-stage hydraulic fracturing has emerged as a key technology for unconventional stimulation wells to show the 3D propagation of the induced fractures. Monitoring the dynamic growth of these fractures gives insight into the quality of the completion design as well as better understanding of reservoir characteristics and rock properties.

The lack of industry standard format for microseismic data resulted in major challenges on different aspects of transmission, interpretation and archiving. This has raised the need to establish a standard format for both raw and basic processed microseismic data.

Basic processed data for each microseismic event is processed remotely in the field and transmitted in near real-time to central offices to be mapped and integrated with other data types using specialized technologies to enable timely decision making. Data should contain the minimum and sufficient information to characterize and indicate the location and magnitude of the induced fractures.

Raw microseismic files are large in size and typically delivered to data proponent in external storage devices at the end of the hydraulic fracturing operation. These files should contain additional attributes collected at the field for all microseismic events and stages such as trace header description, geophone orientation and specification. Both basic processed and raw microseismic data must be captured in a standard format to be stored in a corporate database to safeguard company assets, ensure data integrity and availability for future operations.

Data standardization for both basic processed and raw microseismic was developed by compiling the minimum data requirements from subject matter experts. The new standard for basic processed data consists of a vendor-neutral format that is suitable for all service companies and compatible with major interpretation and visualization technologies. This standard mainly focuses on setting guidelines for microseismic events location and magnitude. Raw microseismic files are in "SEGY" format that include additional meta data attributes such as frac stage number, treatment and monitoring well.

Solutions used to address current microseismic data exchange challenges went beyond data standardization to include modification of existing real-time data transmission system, interpretation technologies and database schema to accommodate and visualize microseismic data at different stages.

Future challenges of microseismic will include the need for technology and data transformation to adopt new generation processing technologies and algorithms to enable on-site data analytics and huge data transmission. This new approach will automate filtering signal from noise to streamline real-time signal transmission and ensure integrity. This session will focus on highlighting microseismic current and future data challenges including discussions on some of the proposed solutions.

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