Abstract

Microseismic measurements were integrated with seismic reservoir characterization and injection data to investigate variability in the hydraulic fracture response between three horizontal wells in the Montney shale in NE British Columbia, Canada. When wells were close enough, hydraulic fractures were found to interact with pre-existing faults, which acted as a barrier to fracture growth, and resulted in relatively large-magnitude microseismicity. Pre-existing faults were identified by edge detection/ant tracking algorithms applied to seismic reflection data, as well as from advanced analysis of the microseismicity, including microseismic deformation levels, magnitude-frequency characteristics and composite failure mechanism analysis. In cases where the wells were far from pre-existing faults simple, planar hydraulic fractures were observed, although there was a tendency to grow towards regions of low Poisson’s ratio based on amplitude versus offset inversion of the seismic reflection data. The tendency for the hydraulic fractures to be asymmetric and grow preferentially towards the low Poisson’s ratio region is attributed to material property changes and associated lower stresses in these regions. Insight from the enhanced reservoir characterization with integrated microseismic and treatment data is being used for better well placement, improved completion designs and increased production.

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