The objective of this paper is to present the development and application of a simple equation for calculating asymmetric growth of the stimulated reservoir volume (SRV) in a shale petroleum reservoir using microseismic data.

Calculation of the SRV is a problem handled with solutions that involve different degrees of complexity. Because shale reservoirs are anisotropic, microseismic events generally develop 3D nonuniform asymmetric patterns around the injection points. This paper presents a new method with an easy to use analytic equation that allows reproducing the asymmetric growth of microseismic events as a function of time by considering reservoir anisotropy.

Asymmetric growth refers to the fact that propagation of the microseismic cloud in a given direction can be larger, equal or smaller as compared with the propagation in other directions. Accurate determination of the SRV asymmetric pattern is critical for input in specialized material balance and reservoir simulation models of shale petroleum reservoirs. This determination allows more realistic projections of reservoir performance.

The novelty of the method is the development of an easy-to-use approach for estimating SRV in a spatially nonuniform-asymmetric-anisotropic reservoir using octants in a coordinate system. The SRV is calculated from the volume of a symmetric ellipsoid divided by a constant value Vc. This in spite that the point of injection of the fracturing fluids in the asymmetric reservoir can be at, close to or far from the center of the ellipsoid. Development of Vc is presented in this paper. Use of the model is illustrated with real microseismic data of the Horn River shale in Canada for a case where Vc is equal to 1.3722.

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