Three monitoring wells with permanently installed 3C geophones were used to locate the microseismicity induced from a steam production cycle. This dataset of 52 high signal-to-noise ratio events were used to examine the location of events by progressively decimating the number sensor arrays. The three-array solutions were contrasted with different array combinations achieved by turning off one or two of the arrays. Event locations revealed the nature and magnitude of the limitations having incomplete coverage of the treatment zone.
Most steam and fracture treatments are monitored by a single observation well. Parameters, such as stimulated reservoir volume fracture azimuth and fracture dimensions in treatments like CSS, hydraulic fracturing, SAG-D, are estimated from the distribution of microseismic event locations. By taking three array locations as ground truth, the array configurations that most accurately reflect the actual fracture geometry are determined.
The observed distributions of the events relocated with decimated arrays show significant changes in overall fracture trend, geometry, and location accuracy. Progressive decimation of the number of arrays increases the inaccuracies of event locations, which results in the scatter of event locations. Decimation of the number of arrays changes the dimensions and azimuth of fractures, which are readily apparent upon comparison with the three-array solutions. The least biased decimated solutions are those using two arrays, one on either side of the treatment zone. Single array solutions show the most scatter, with the recording distance also controlling the degree of event mislocation.
This array decimation analysis shows how the array configuration and number for arrays affect the interpreted fracture volumes, geometries, and accuracy of event location. The different viewing angles from the single and dual array decimated subsets, as well as the different distances from the event clusters to the geophones are important considerations in mitigating the biases due to limiting the recording coverage.