MicroSeism​​​​ic Shows Improved Drainage and Increased NPV With Six Wells Per Section In The Permian Basin

Presenters: Alison Small, Element Petroleum & Peter M. Duncan, PhD, MicroSeismic, Inc.

The Challenge

Microseismic analysis for a horizontal well completed in the San Andres in Cochran County was used to measure the geometry of the created fracture network, evaluate optimization potential for the treatment design, and understand wellbore density for highest capital efficiency.

The Solution

Acoustic data were acquired with an 11-arm star-shaped surface array during the treatment and used to image microseismic events and the created fracture network. Analysis showed a hydraulic half-length of about 300 ft with a propped half-length of about 80 ft. While a significant amount of activity was observed above and below the target interval, the total propped height was only 140 ft. Microseismic activity was fairly symmetrical about the wellbore with fracture planes oriented mostly at 93° and some failure between 100-130°. Maximum horizontal stress direction was determined at around 40°. Horizontal stress anisotropy was observed to be low.

The Results

MicroSeismic-based reservoir simulation shows that depletion occurs outside of the created fracture network as expected for a carbonate reservoir but indicates that wellbore density can be increased from four to six wells per section. In addition, treatment size may be increased for additional frac length and improved drainage. The project also showed that high quality microseismic data can be recorded with a surface array in the area with calibration shot errors of approximately 10 ft in x, y, and z, and accurate magnitude detection down to a moment magnitude of -3. The high-quality data allowed for observation of multiple types of rock failure which are typical for the San Andres.


MicroSeismic, Inc.
MicroSeismic, Inc.
MicroSeismic, Inc. is an oilfield services company providing microseismic-based Completions Evaluation Services, particularly quantitative assessments of stimulation treatment effectiveness and well productivity. Founded in 2003, MicroSeismic has grown to become the leading provider of microseismic monitoring utilizing surface, near-surface, and downhole arrays. The Company operates in 18 countries and holds over 30 patents.
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