Microseismic: Essential for Big Oil Success in Shale

By Jaclyn Townsend & Sarah Groen, MicroSeismic, Inc.

In the multi-billion dollar onshore shale gas market, real-time completions evaluation services have become extremely valuable to operators working to ensure profitability for the long term.

A number of big oil companies including Shell, BG, BHP and recently BP earlier this year, have created separate U.S. shale business units in order to manage shale production, accelerate decision-making capabilities and shorten cycle times from drilling through production.   In many formations, operators are combatting high decline curves and are finding that optimizing each stage and each well is key to long-term, field-wide productivity. For many of these companies, microseismic-based completions evaluation, often in real-time, is key in determining how to complete each well. 

Recently in an interview with Rigzone, Rod Skaufel of BHP said that he is seeing “early encouraging results for its use of diversion techniques to improve stimulated rock volume and create a more uniform distribution across clusters.” He goes on to say that, “BHP is using microseismic to examine production data to determine how to get more uniform distribution, and has experimented with shorter frac stages and fewer clusters to get higher rates.

Being able to improve variables like well spacing, frac coverage area, treatment design, and ultimate recovery are essential not only for big oil companies but all production companies alike.  “We're performing microseismic analysis that will provide additional data to help us with our decision-making and management of shut in volumes, spacing and frac design,” says Harold Hickey, President and CEO of EXCO Resources, during EXCO’s Q1 2014 conference call.

Microseismic technology is the only available data that provides deterministic information on what is happening during hydraulic fracturing operations. At MicroSeismic, Inc., we use our best in class microseismic acquisition and processing technologies, combined with our Completions Evaluation technology to support our customers in making decisions on field-wide optimization. Determining ideal well and stage spacing, identifying geo-hazards, identifying fluid and treatment efficiency, and defining what portion of the total stimulated rock volume is propped and productive is valuable information that will contribute to the long term health of unconventional plays.

To hear more about our completions evaluation services, click here to register for our webcast on June 17, 2014 where we will discuss how MicroSeismic played an essential role in determining sophisticated wellbore spacing in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Jaclyn & Sarah