Review of hydraulic fracture mapping using advanced accelerometer-based receiver systems (Englisch)

Hydraulic fracturing is an important tool for natural gas and oil exploitation, but its optimization has been impeded by an inability to observe how the fracture propagates and what its overall dimensions are. The few experiments in which fractures have been exposed through coring or mineback have shown that hydraulic fractures are complicated multi-stranded structures that may behave much differently than currently predicted by models. It is clear that model validation, fracture optimization, problem identification and solution, and field development have all been encumbered by the absence of any ground truth information on fracture behavior in field applications. The solution to this problem is to develop techniques to image the hydraulic fracture in situ from either the surface, the treatment well, or offset wells. Several diagnostic techniques have been available to assess individual elements of the fracture geometry, but most of these techniques have limitations on their usefulness. For example, tracers and temperature logs can only measure fracture height at the wellbore, well testing and production history matching provide a productive length which may or may not be different from the true fracture length, and tiltmeters can provide accurate information on azimuth and type of fracture (horizontal or vertical), but length and height can only be extracted from a non-unique inversion of the data. However, there is a method, the microseismic technique, which possesses the potential for imaging the entire hydraulic fracture and, more importantly, its growth history. This paper discusses application of advanced technology to the microseismic method in order to provide detailed accurate images of fractures and their growth processes.

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