Over the past decade, microsesimic monitoring has become the approach most often used to gain an in-situ understanding of the rock's response during hydraulic fracture stimulations. From initial monitoring performed in the Barnett Shale to monitoring currently being carried out for example in the Horn River and Marcellus formations, we review the evolution of microseismic monitoring from data collection (single versus multi-well array configurations, utilization of long lateral stimulation wells), to data analysis and the incorporation of microseismic parameters to constrain and validate reservoir models. Furthermore, we discuss the variations in microseismic activity for different stimulation programs (e.g. zipper-fracs) and stimulation fluids.
Generally, we have observed that overall fracture height, width and length, orientation, and growth vary from formation to formation and within each formation, thereby highlighting the ongoing necessity for microseismic monitoring. Additionally, through the use of advanced microseismic analysis techniques, such as Seismic Moment Tensor Inversion (SMTI), details on failure mechanisms have been used to assess stimulation effectiveness and define complex Discrete Fracture Networks (DFN). This information provides estimates of Enhanced Fluid Flow (EFF), which assist in calibrating and validating reservoir models. Utilizing spatial and temporal distributions in DFN and EFF, along with estimates of fracture interconnectivity and complexity, the role of pre-existing fractures and fault structures in the rock matrix can be established and used to provide more realistic estimates of stimulation parameters such as Stimulated Reservoir Volume (SRV).