Understanding Production from Microseismic

By Kash Kashikar
VP, Completions Evaluation

One of the questions I get asked often is “Why is it that on one job, all wells had similar microseismic responses, yet they all produced very differently? For instance, one had 50% more production?”

What does “similar microseismic response” mean?  Does it mean that each stage and each well have the same number of microseismic events? Do we have the same magnitude range for the events? Does it mean that the extent of microseismic activity - measured as distance of the event from the wellbore or stage center - the same on each well; and maybe even each stage?  Did every stage on these 3 wells receive the same treatment?

As I start asking these questions I realize that most users look at microseismic in a very general and qualitative sense.  They are looking at the overall shape of what the industry refers to as the “microseismic cloud”.    No wonder then that all “clouds” look very similar and don’t yield an answer to the question: Why is production different across wells?

To understand why each well produces differently we must look at the microseismic data as a completion diagnostic measurement. We have to frame the questions differently.   We should start asking these questions: How can I quantify the microseismic response?  What is the shape of the fractures as indicated by the microseismic data for each stage? What are the dimensions of this shape on a per stage basis? How do the dimensions differ between the propped and un-propped fractures?  How do these dimensions compare between individual stages in a single well?  How do these dimensions compare between wells?  What can these dimensions tell us about the shape and size of the stimulated and drainage volume? How does this correlate to the wellbore placement and lithology per stage? 

As we start to answer these questions we find that the microseismic response on all wells is actually quite different. There are differences in microseismic responses between individual stages and individual wells.  Digging deeper we can start to establish correlations between the treatment parameters, lithology, well placement, microseismic activity and production.  This requires a significant investigative effort – what I call completion diagnostics. 

At MicroSeismic we have taken a unique deterministic approach and developed a workflow to perform completion diagnostics. It is part of a larger Completions Evaluation initiative. Working closely with our customers, our workflow and tools allow us to jointly develop an understanding of what really impacts production.

MicroSeismic’s focus is to help customers lower F&D costs and increase production through optimized stimulation treatment, improved understanding of the reservoir, and optimized field wide development.  To learn more about these methods and how to perform completion diagnostics, check out our latest webcasts on Completions, by clicking here.

Kash