Optimizing hydraulic fracturing operations through time-lapse, multi-component and microseismic monitoring
The future of shale reservoir development is dependent on our ability to use integrated technologies to improve the recovery factor. By characterizing the reservoir under dynamic rather than static conditions we can monitor the enhanced permeability field created by the hydraulic fracturing process. Natural fractures, faults and stress state profoundly influence the permeability field created by hydraulic fracturing. The permeability field is a continuum and is constantly changing as the reservoir is developed. Monitoring these changes can lead to an understanding of the enhanced reservoir volume surrounding stimulated wellbores while enabling a better estimation of the effectiveness of the hydraulic fracturing process in shale reservoirs. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC) and the Colorado School of Mines Reservoir Characterization Project (RCP) teamed up to conduct an integrated dynamic reservoir charac¬terization study of a portion of Wattenberg Field, Colorado (Fig¬ure 1). Time-lapse, multi-component seismic data were acquired during the hydraulic fracture stimulation of 11 horizontal wells within a one square mile area, the Wishbone section (Figure 2). The purpose of this integrated study is to determine what parts of the reservoir are being accessed by the hydraulic fracturing operation and what parts of the permeability continuum are being monitored by the various seismic methods. In doing so, the inte¬gration of seismic and engineering technologies should help us optimize well spacing and other parameters including completion type and number of stages (Figure 3).