The Canadian sedimentary basin has long been exploited using vertical well-completion techniques, sometimes producing from multiple formation zones. With recent advancements in horizontal drilling and multistage-completion techniques, horizontal wells are quickly replacing vertical completions as the completion method of choice in many unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. A popular completion method uses openhole isolation packers and ball-activated sliding sleeves to target specific intervals along the wellbore during fracture treatments. This allows multiple stages to be completed in short periods of time because fracture operations often do not have to be shut down to precede to the next stage, compared to the more traditional plug-and-perf completion technique.

Microseismic mapping has proven effective in measuring fracture geometries, such as fracture half-length, height, azimuth, and stimulated reservoir volume. This paper outlines the workflow used in understanding and interpreting the created fracture geometry within individual openhole intervals of the openhole packer completion technique.

The microseismic data proves that created fracture geometry can vary dramatically along the openhole section of a horizontal wellbore. Microseismic mapping also indicates that fractures do not always initiate across from the sliding sleeve port, but can in fact initiate anywhere along the openhole section, exhibiting, in some cases, multiple fracture initiation points. The microseismic-mapping results of this project were used to identify reservoir coverage along the horizontal wellbore as well as identify areas in the reservoir that were not sufficiently stimulated.

By using information gained through microseismic monitoring, fracture models can be calibrated to match actual fracture geometry with modeled fracture geometry, resulting in a calibrated fracture model. Once defined, and using the well production history, the fracture model was used to forecast the future production of the well. Using the calibrated model can help operators optimize the number of stages, stage spacing, and fracture-treatment design to maximize reservoir contact and hydrocarbon recovery while minimizing completion costs.

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