MicroSeismic History


  • Achieved over 1 million man hours without a lost-time incident
  • Launched AlertArray life-of-asset seismicity monitoring system to help operators mitigate risk
  • Succeeded in predicting reservoir drainage and early production for several key operators in North America using new developments in the PermIndex® workflow
  • Closed the loop with from dots to production


  • Jeff Foster appointed as new CEO & President
  • Acquired new downhole monitoring assets from Reservoir Imaging, Inc.
  • Launched FracRx™ to help operators increase asset value by optimizing the treatment of each well
  • Launched Advanced Real-Time Analysis help optimize production and reduce costs for both geophysical and engineering developments
  • Giving the gift of hearing - For every well it monitors, MicroSeismic makes a donation towards hearing aids for under-privileged children


  • Celebrating 10 years of innovation
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2013 Gulf Coast Area award winner – Technology
  • CNBC named an Energy Industry Disruptor on the inaugural CNBC Disruptor 50 List
  • Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D. featured on CNBC Squawk Box to discuss the use of microseismic data to reduce risk and build bottom lines in the energy sector
  • Geophysical Society of Houston/SEG honors Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D.  at their 2013 Spring Symposium
  • Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D. recognized as a celebrated entrepreneur at the Houston Technology Center’s (HTC) 10th annual “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” gala
  • Houston Business Journal CFO of the Year nominee and Fast 100 nominee
  • Introduced Downhole Monitoring with EventPick™ Processing Technology
  • Introduced new Completions Evaluation Services and PSET 5.0
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2013 National award winner – Technology


  • World Oil's Innovator of the Year award in 2012
  • Ernst & Young nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Inc 5000 Fast Growing Companies in US 2012 – ranked 988 overall, 36 in energy industry and 20 in Houston
  • Ranked 6th in the energy industry for Inc.’s 2012 Hire Power Awards
  • Moved to new corporate office in Houston
  • Opened new office in Pittsburgh
  • Method of imaging the earth’s subsurface using passive seismic interferometry and adaptive velocity filtering patent awarded


  • Completed a $100M majority recapitalization with TA Associates and Madrone Capital Partners
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists announces Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D. as an honorary member in September 2011
  • World Oil - Innovative Thinker Award Nominee - Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D.
  • Awarded #7 in the FastTech 50 Award presented by Houston Business Journal as one of the fastest growing companies in Houston
  • Method of passive seismic emission tomography using adaptive velocity filter patent awarded
  • Method for imaging the earth’s subsurface using passive seismic sensing patent awarded
  • Method for passive seismic emission tomography including polarization correction for source mechanism patent awarded


  • World Oil nomination for Best Completion Technology Award
  • World Oil nomination for Best Exploration Technology Award
  • New Technology Magazine's award for Best Exploration Technology
  • MicroSeismic receives E&P Magazine's 2010 Hart Meritorious Award for Engineering Excellence
  • Largest BuriedArray™ service installed in Sanish Field - North Dakota
  • Receives Houston Business Journals Enterprise Champion Award and named to the Houston Business Journals "Fast Tech 50" list, ranked #24
  • MicroSeismic enhances service offering with Transform software reservoir data visualization capabilities
  • Launched new logo and brand at SEG 2010
  • Method for seismic emission tomography patent awarded


  • MicroSeismic granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its Passive Seismic Emission Technology (PSET™) service
  • Named to the Houston "Fast Tech 50" list by the Houston Business Journal
  • Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D. invited to speak at CERA Week 2010 in the Energy Innovations Pioneers Session


  • Opened office in Calgary
  • Moved HQ offices to larger facility with 12,000 square feet of space
  • CEO and President, Peter M. Duncan, Ph.D. Named as the 2008 Fall AAPG-SEG Distinguished Lecturer
  • Named to the Houston "Fast Tech 50" list by the Houston Business Journal. MicroSeismic was ranked number 13 out of the top 50 technology companies in Houston
  • Launched Downhole monitoring
  • Launched BuriedArray™ permanent & real-time shallow subsurface monitoring
  • Awarded world's first multi-year, multi-million dollar contract for permanently installed BuriedArray™ service
  • Doubled the size of the North American sales team, hired a VP of Sales for US, named a VP of Sales for International, added sales representatives in China, Argentina, and Mexico


  • Opened office in Denver with sales, processing and operations personnel
  • Completed second generation of the company's proprietary passive seismic processing software, PSET™


  • In August 2006 MicroSeismic, completed a $7 million "Round B" financing from three participants, including the two "Round A" participants, Altira, Chevron Technology Ventures, and RockPort Capital Partners
  • The company built its staff in anticipation of substantially expanded operations in 2007. This included adding a Chief Financial Officer, an operations management team, hiring and training additional field crews, and increasing the number of geophysicists


  • MicroSeismic, Inc., (MicroSeismic) was incorporated in early 2003 to commercialize passive seismic and received venture funding of $450,000. The lead investor was the Altira Group of Denver, Colorado joined by Chevron Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of Chevron Corporation
  • First-to-market with a novel surface array technique for hydro-frac monitoring called FracStar™
  • Registered Trademarks for PSET™, PSTT™ and FracStar™ technologies

Why MicroSeismic, Inc.?

Experience Matters

real-time-122MicroSeismic Inc. is the leader and inventor of the surface microseismic category. Founded in 2003, MicroSeismic has over 10 years of experience perfecting results for customers. With over 28,000 stages monitored and over 50 BuriedArrays installed, the Company has multiple times more surface experience than all other providers combined.

Unconventional plays vary widely across the United States and internationally, making this experience extremely valuable to customers. The characterization of shales and interpretation of results provided by MicroSeismic is based on years of knowledge that other providers simply do not have.

Custom Solutions

MicroSeismic’s extensive experience allows the Company to recommend highly custom solutions for each customer. With basic information about the frac location and plan, MicroSeismic can recommend the best service for each specific basin. The Company has the capability to provide surface, near-surface and downhole acquisition, as well as 3c and low-frequency options. However, not all solutions are appropriate in each basin. It is for this reason that MicroSeismic offers only custom solutions to each client based on a multitude of factors. We will recommend specific solutions to customers only in areas for which they are appropriate and have been proven before.

Operational Excellence

MicroSeismic prides itself on operational excellence and adherence to the strictest of safety standards. Rather than outsourcing data acquisition, MicroSeismic owns its own acquisition equipment and employs highly-skilled and dedicated field crews. Through years of experience, we have learned how to efficiently collect data while also protecting the environment.

Independent Point of View

MicroSeismic is committed to our core business of Completions Evaluation Services and microseismic monitoring. Because we are not also pumping your frac or providing frac materials such as proppants and gels, we can provide a wholly agnostic point of view when monitoring your results. MicroSeismic can help you determine the effectiveness of different frac treatments in real-time, allowing for quick decision making based on results you can trust.

Senior Management Team


The MSI Way encompasses our Vision and Mission and the core values necessary to achieve them, and thus most clearly expresses where we are going and how we conduct ourselves while in pursuit of our goals.

Our vision is a world in which every completion is optimized through real-time monitoring and evaluation. 

Our mission is to exceed our customers’ expectations by delivering high value, data driven solutions for understanding, evaluating, and optimizing reservoir performance. We will be the leading provider of completions optimization and evaluation in the global unconventional market.

To achieve our vision and mission we must all aspire to live our core values which are:

Mastery – diligently pursuing operational and technical excellence

  • We are ethical, accountable, honest, reliable and professional in all areas of endeavor
  • We attract, train and retain the best people with the desire to achieve at the highest level, both personally and professionally
  • We adopt a quality approach to all projects, we do not neglect details and we strive to get it right the first time

Service – consistently delivering on and surpassing customer expectations

  • We know, listen to and understand our customers and try hard to anticipate their every need
  • We say what we do and do what we say – if we don’t we own up to it
  • We are responsive at all levels of the customer interface, and put our client first

Innovation – Enthusiastically developing world class technology in completions optimization

  • We foster an environment where the best and the brightest are unleashed to innovate and are rewarded for doing so
  • We do applied research and proactively develop answers that solve real customer problems as they emerge
  • We perpetually challenge our present methods and techniques to drive improvements and innovation to fuel our future

MicroSeismic Frequently Asked Questions

  • Microseismic Monitoring FAQs
  • Hydraulic Fracturing Frequently Asked Questions
  • Landowner FAQs
What are the most common techniques used now for monitoring or determining where fractures are going?
Currently, operators use surface, near-surface and downhole microseismic monitoring for their completions needs. Each method has unique advantages that can be applied on a per project basis to provide operators with the best solution possible.
What is Microseismic Monitoring?
Microseismic Monitoring is like putting a stethoscope to the surface of the earth and listening to the sounds the rocks make as they are being fractured. Those sounds are then further used to create an actual image of how and where the rocks fracture.
During hydraulic fracturing, subsurface energy is released during mechanical failure of rocks. The energy releases are acquired by geophones spread out in patterns, either on the surface or near the surface, and analyzed using earthquake seismology and seismic migration techniques. The use of Microseismic Monitoring allows operators to better understand the reservoirs response to stimulation.
What does MicroSeismic, Inc. have to do with frac’ing?
MicroSeismic helps oil & gas operators maximize asset value through real-time completions optimization to improve production by monitoring hydraulic fracturing. We map where the fractures are going and analyze the effectiveness of treatment so operators can understand how well they are frac’ing and how to increase overall production.
What is the MicroSeismic, Inc. difference when monitoring fracture operations?
By monitoring from the surface or borehole in real-time, we have the ability to tell operators exactly where the fractures are going to aid in better field development, i.e. operators can understand where to drill future wells. Most importantly, MicroSeismic maps fracture networks in real-time so operators can adjust treatment parameters, such as pump rate, on the spot to effectively frac the well and optimize completions.
Is MicroSeismic’s technology well established?
As the pioneer in microseismic monitoring, MicroSeismic has been helping clients make informed decisions about optimizing completions using surface, near-surface, and downhole arrays. Each year MicroSeismic, Inc. monitors hundreds of wells and thousands of stages during fracturing.
What are the environmental benefits to using MicroSeismic?
Using real-time processing, MicroSeismic has the ability to notify the operator to stop pumping if the fractures are approaching environmentally sensitive areas. Also, monitoring provides operators with a preventative measure to ensure groundwater aquifers are not penetrated. Finally, MicroSeismic is able to detect larger events and can prove that large magnitude events did not occur during treatment.
What is hydraulic fracturing?
Hydraulic fracturing, or frac’ing as it’s often called, is a technology used to stimulate the flow of hydrocarbons from new and existing oil and gas wells. It creates millimeter-thick fissures in the rock formation, providing a conductive path for hydrocarbons to flow into the wellbore. These new paths increase the rate that fluids can be produced from the reservoir formations, in some cases by many hundreds of percent.
Is hydraulic fracturing a new technology?
Over the past 60 years, hydraulic fracturing has been used for a wide variety of purposes, from stimulating the flow of water from water wells, to bringing geothermal wells into commercial viability. Frac’ing has been used in about one million wells during the past six decades in shale formations, such as the Marcellus Shale which is believed to be one of the world’s largest natural gas-bearing formations.
How does the fracturing process work?
Operators will drill a well in low permeability rock, such as shale. Then, to increase permeability to release hydrocarbons, the well is stimulated with high pressure fluids. In order to keep fractures from closing up, proppant comprised typically sand, is pumped into the fractured rock. Finally, the well begins to flow oil and gas until the fractured area is depleted.
Why is hydraulic fracturing necessary?
Without the recent and significant technological advancements made in horizontal drilling and in hydraulic fracturing, the oil and natural gas found in deep shale formations would be uneconomic and unrecoverable. The creation of small cracks, or fractures, in the shale allows the hydrocarbons trapped within the very dense rock formation to flow through the wellbore so that it can be collected at the surface.
Does hydraulic fracturing cause earthquakes?
The earth is naturally under tectonic stress and earthquakes happen all the time as a result of continental drift. Typically around the world there are more than 20 earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 2.5 every day and countless more at smaller magnitudes. Seismic events created by frac’ing are usually 10,000 times smaller in magnitude and therefore, are not typically felt at the earth’s surface. Rarely, the fluids from frac’ing may find their way into a pre-existing fault or fracture in the earth that is under stress, waiting to move. The fluids may “lubricate” the fault allowing it to release its pent up stress earlier than it would naturally, and most likely at a lower magnitude of event.
What chemicals are used in frac’ing?
Approximately 99.5% of the volume of materials used during the frac’ing of deep shale gas wells consists of water and sand. Other typical ingredients include a friction reducer, gelling agent and antibacterial agents.
Are frac’ing chemicals dangerous?
Frac’ing chemicals are no more dangerous than any industrial or household chemicals when used properly. However, they do require safe work practices, proper site preparation and attentive handling to ensure the safe management of chemicals, as well as the protection of the public, well site employees, contractors and the environment. Each chemical used during the frac’ing process has a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which is readily available at a central location for all personnel on the job site. The MSDS outlines the hazards associated with well site chemicals and the appropriate steps to protect the user and the environment. It is important to note that in deep natural gas shale drilling operations the targeted frac’ing zones are, on average, located an estimated 6,000 to 12,000 feet below the freshwater zones, and are separated by millions of tons of impermeable and nonporous rock formations thus making the potential for migration into freshwater zones a near scientific impossibility.

The website fracfocus.org has been formed by the industry to enable voluntary disclosure of fracturing fluids and material used by operators in their wells in the United States. Thousands of wells are now included in this database for access by the public.
Why is there methane in well water in hydraulic fracturing areas?
Methane is a natural hydrocarbon gas that is flammable and explosive in certain concentrations. It is produced either by bacteria or by geologic processes involving heat and pressure. Biogenic methane is created by the decomposition of organic material through fermentation, as is commonly seen in wetlands, or by the chemical reduction of carbon dioxide. It is found in some shallow, water-bearing geologic formations, into which water wells are sometimes completed. Thermogenic methane is created by the thermal decomposition of buried organic material. It is found in rocks buried deeper within the earth and is produced by drilling an oil and gas well and hydraulically fracturing the rocks that contain the gas.
What constitutes contamination?
The existence of fracturing-related fluids in a drinking water supply, found to reside there in sufficient quantities pursuant to activities directly related to hydraulic fracturing. No documented case of drinking water contamination has been credibly tied to hydraulic fracturing in the past 60 years.*
How is hydraulic fracturing regulated?
Before a well can be drilled, it must be approved by state officials and a permit-to-drill. Once approved, every step of the process is conducted in accordance with state requirements.
Was hydraulic fracturing able to secure an exemption to regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act?
Frac’ing was never regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, therefore, it could never have been granted exemption. In 1974, the act was passed but never considered hydraulic fracturing to be included at the time. After three amendments to the act in 1980, 1986 and 1996, at no point was hydraulic fracturing considered for regulation under the Safe Water Drinking Act.
Are states equipped with the expertise that’s needed to safely regulate the hydraulic fracturing process?
Each state with hydraulic fracture operations has a team of highly qualified inspectors and scientists who oversee and guarantee execution of oil and natural gas extraction.

Well operators must work with state regulators, and comply with federal regulations. OSHA, Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act all contain record keeping and reporting rules followed by energy producers. These regulations ensure all chemicals used in the extraction process are properly handled and stored, and that works and first responders are made aware of the substances they handle.*

*Provided by EnergyinDepth.org

What type of damage can I expect to my land after MicroSeismic has completed a job?
MicroSeismic crews and equipment leave behind only a minimal footprint once a project is complete. No long term effects are incurred.
What kind of energy sources or explosives does MicroSeismic use during monitoring?
Unlike conventional seismic operations, MSI does not use explosives, or Vibroseis methods for an energy source. Microseismic is listening for the rocks in the reservoir to break and fail under the pressure created by the frac job on the surface. MicroSeismic uses only the energy of the fractures themselves.
How do I make sure that operators are telling the truth when they say their frac’ing has not contaminated my water wells?
Microseismic data can clearly pinpoint what’s happening below the surface by mapping where the fracs are going. Using microseismic, operators can demonstrate that the fracs stay thousands of feet below the surface, so it’s not possible for the process to contaminate water tables. Microseismic data can be used by operators (drillers), regulators, courts and legislators to prove that a well is not being affected by a hydraulic frac operation helping defend against allegations of contamination.