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Abstract: The Role of Induced Microearthquake Monitoring in Characterising Fracture Dominated Fluid Flow

A J Jupe, R H Jones, B Dyer

Microearthquakes are generated by shear stress relief on pre-existing fractures in response to changes in fluid pressure. Event locations and focal mechanisms tell the geoscientist much about the distribution of fluid flow and pressure within a fractured system. Significantly, microseismic monitoring provides the only practical means of imaging fluid flow remote from the wellbore. Despite the potential for monitoring hydraulic fracturing, water flood operations and long term reservoir depletion, the technique has yet to receive general acceptance in the petroleum industry. The principal reason for this appears to be the absence of convincing case studies in hydrocarbon reservoirs. This means the development of the technique is held back by a reluctance to commit the resou ces required to produce the high quality data industry requires. This paper aims to address this problem by presenting high quality case studies obtained from over 15 years of experience in Hot Dry Rock (HDR) Geothermal reservoir development, where the technique has provided key information for critical decision making such as well-track design and reservoir management. The paper will present examples of the successful imaging of fluid flow in this direct analogue of fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs and discuss the way forward for the technique in the hydrocarbon industry.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France